Rendering for 40,000-seat stadium at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Rendering for 40,000-seat stadium at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Photo by Courtesy Photo

Ed Roski Jr. earned a shot last week to build a football stadium – but it won’t house an NFL team.

The billionaire developer’s Majestic Realty Co. received exclusive rights to develop a stadium in Las Vegas for the University of Nevada’s main campus. Roski was granted a 150-day negotiating window by the university for a 40,000-seat domed stadium for both its football and basketball teams.

Although the field would be smaller than Roski’s proposed 80,000-seat National Football League stadium in the City of Industry, there are similarities. Each are designed to be the center of a mixed-use entertainment and retail complex, and both are being designed by L.A architect Dan Meis of Populous, one of the lead designers of the Staples Center.

Majestic Vice President John Semcken, who is spearheading Roski’s drive to attract a team for his Industry stadium, said his boss is pursuing the Las Vegas project on its own merits and it doesn’t reflect on his NFL plans.

“We are ready to go with the stadium in City of Industry. The Las Vegas project is just getting started,” Semcken said.

The university wants the stadium to be the centerpiece of a 150-acre mixed-use village with 3,000 housing units and 600,000 square feet of retail space. The school’s 28-year-old Thomas & Mack Center arena also would be refurbished as part of the project. A budget and timeline have not been released.

Majestic would enter into a ground lease with UNLV and be responsible for designing, financing, constructing and managing the center. In addition to college sports, the stadium would be able to host other events, such as the National Finals Rodeo, held annually in December – another reason Roski may want to participate.

The rodeo fills Las Vegas hotel rooms for three weeks during the off-season. Roski owns the 300-room Silverton Casino Lodge and has developed 6.7 million acres of commercial space in the Las Vegas area over the past 20 years.

Larger stadiums like the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas could try to poach that event if the university can’t strike a deal to build a stadium and upgrade the Thomas & Mack Center.

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