Exterior of the arena
|Former names||Las Vegas Arena (planning/construction)|
|Address||3780 South Las Vegas Boulevard|
|Public transit|| Las Vegas Monorail|
at MGM Grand
RTC Transit routes 201, 301, 502, 605, 606, 607, 608, 902
|Operator||MGM Resorts International|
Ice hockey: 17,500
|Broke ground||May 1, 2014|
|Opened||April 6, 2016|
|Construction cost||$375 million|
|Project manager||ICON Venue Group|
|Structural engineer||Thornton Tomasetti|
|Services engineer||ME Engineers|
|General contractor||Penta Building Group|
Hunt Construction Group
|Vegas Golden Knights (NHL) (2017–present)|
Ultimate Fighting Championship (2016–present)
Opened on April 6, 2016, the arena was built as a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and the Anschutz Entertainment Group. Aside from the Golden Knights, T-Mobile Arena has primarily been used for entertainment events such as concerts, and has been booked for mixed martial arts and professional boxing events, and well as other annual sporting events.
The Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) first tried to build an arena in Las Vegas in association with Harrah's Entertainment. In 2007, the joint venture announced they would build a 20,000 seat stadium behind the Bally's and Paris casino-hotels. Caesars Entertainment, Inc. had previously envisioned using the location to build a baseball park, but the company's buyout by Harrah's cancelled the plans. Through the following year, Harrah's became uncertain on continuing with the project, not knowing if AEG would split the costs, and whether building a major league-ready stadium without a guaranteed franchise to play on it would be feasible given the enduring financial crisis. The original plans were to break ground in June 2008 and finish the arena in 2010, but by 2009, it was revealed the stalled project had not even done a traffic study despite being located near a busy intersection. In 2010, the plans were changed to use an area behind the Imperial Palace. However, given the financing would require a special taxation district, opposition from Clark County regarding using public money in the project stalled it even further. AEG eventually backed out completely by 2012, once MGM Resorts International came up with their own project using a terrain behind the New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts. This attracted AEG primarily for not relying on public funding.
MGM and AEG announced their joint arena plan on March 1, 2013. Plans were further fleshed out over the following months with the announcement of a $100-million pedestrian shopping area, The Park, to serve as a gateway to the arena, and the retention of prominent sports architecture firm Populous to design the project. Other firms on the project include: the ICON Venue Group, Thornton Tomasetti, ME Engineers, Penta Building Group and Hunt Construction Group.
The project broke ground on May 1, 2014, followed by the demolition of existing buildings, and excavation of an oval area for the arena. The final steel beam of the structure was placed on May 27, 2015.
In January 2016, T-Mobile US announced it had acquired the naming rights to the new arena in a multi-year contract. The arena held its grand opening on April 6, 2016 with a concert by Las Vegas natives The Killers, Shamir and Wayne Newton. Country music artists Martina McBride and Cam performed at a soft opening on March 31, 2016.
In 2016, the National Hockey League awarded a Las Vegas expansion team to an ownership group led by Bill Foley, with T-Mobile Arena as its home venue. As part of the team's lease, Foley negotiated an option to buy a stake in the arena from MGM and AEG. He exercised that option in September 2016, buying a 15 percent interest for around $35 million.
During its construction, T-Mobile Arena was pointed to as the home arena for a possible National Hockey League expansion team in Las Vegas. The expansion bid was approved and announced by the NHL on June 22, 2016; the new team, the Vegas Golden Knights, began play in the 2017–18 season.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship's first event at the venue was UFC 200, held on July 9, 2016. In March 2017, the UFC signed a seven-year agreement to become an official tenant of T-Mobile Arena. The promotion agreed to host at least four events per-year at the facility, in exchange for receiving permanent retail space and signage.
The Professional Bull Riders World Finals moved to T-Mobile Arena in 2016, moving from the Thomas & Mack Center, followed by the Pac-12 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, which moved from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The UNLV basketball team plays at least one game each season at T-Mobile Arena. One game against Duke was played in December 2016 and two games were played in November 2017, against Rice and Utah. In December 2018, UNLV faced BYU. [needs update]
In addition to Golden Knights games and UFC events, a number of major sporting events have been held at the arena, including boxing matches such as Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin and Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor. By virtue of the Golden Knights winning the 2017-18 Western Conference finals, it also played host to three games of the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals, between the Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals, including the cup-clinching fifth game which awarded the Capitals their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
The arena has hosted nationally televised entertainment events such as the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the Latin Grammys, the Miss USA beauty pageant, and WWE professional wrestling events. It is also a stop on many national concert tours, and hosts Strait to Vegas, a concert residency by George Strait.
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