A Las Vegas developer’s nine-year efforts to build a luxury hotel and arena project got a big financial boost.
Former National Basketball Association player Jackie Robinson unveiled his plans to build a 23,000-seat arena and luxury hotel on the Las Vegas Strip nine years ago with hopes to bring an NBA team to Sin City.
Robinson’s project on 27 acres between the Sahara Las Vegas and Fontainebleau Las Vegas has had several false starts since he first revealed his plans in December 2013 to build a $1.3 billion project, originally set to open in late 2016. Despite Clark County commissioners approving the project in summer 2014 and Robinson breaking ground in the fall of that year, nothing would happen on the site for three years.
Clark County approved expansion plans in 2017, but no work continued on the site. At an October 2020 hearing, commissioners urged Robinson to “fish or cut bait” on the project, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, and also began setting deadlines to encourage the developer to get moving on the project. By April 2021, required project agreements were approved.
In February 2022, the Review-Journal reported that Active Capital Holdings’ Executive Trustee Arthur “AJ” Lewis confirmed the company would provide a total of $4.7 billion with the deal projected to close in early March. Robinson, the report said, wants to build the All Net Resort & Arena, which would feature an arena with a retractable roof, two luxury hotels, a convention center, a movie theater, and more on the long-vacant former Wet ’n’ Wild water park site. The site would also have retail shops and a broadcast studio. The arena would seat 23,000 for basketball and 25,000 for concerts and boxing.
Robinson, however, told the Review-Journal on Oct. 19 that he was surprised by Lewis’ announcement that night in February. He asserted that he had no idea it was coming and that he never had an agreement for the funding.
“He got a little ambitious … but nothing ever happened,” Robinson said.
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Developer Secures Funding for Hotel Arena Project
Instead, Robinson last week at a media event at the Stirling Club near the Strip revealed that he has secured a new investor for his $4.9 billion All Net Resort & Arena project and introduced Todd Owen, director of Clearwater Perpetual Master Trust, as its new financing partner.
Owen described Clearwater Perpetual as a Wyoming-based family office investment fund out of California. He said that a mutual friend wanted him to meet with Robinson as the project had faced “prior financial stumbles,” Owen told the Review-Journal.
Robinson’s goal is to bring an NBA team to Las Vegas to occupy his arena and NBA commissioner Adam Silver has recently said that Las Vegas is among the markets that the NBA will consider the next time it expands. And there seems to be many suitors who want to own a team in Las Vegas.
Sports Stars Want to Own NBA Team
The Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James stated in a preview of his HBO series “The Shop” that he was interested in owning a potential Las Vegas NBA team.
“I wanna own a team….Yeah, I wanna buy a team for sure. I would much rather own a team before I talk. I wanna own a team in Vegas. I want the team in Vegas,” James said in the video.
Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, who lives in Las Vegas, said he’s been “talking to certain individuals” about owning an NBA team, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
“I’ve been talking to certain individuals for the last six months. That’s something I’ve been working on behind the scenes, but I’ve never came out and publicly talked about that with the media.
“Me and my team have been working behind the scenes with the NBA. I can’t say exactly where, but I’m working on getting a team,” Mayweather said.