LVCVA will vote on nam­ing deal for Sum­mer­lin ball­park

Con­tract would be $80 mil­lion for 20 years

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - NEVADA & THE WEST - By Richard N. Velotta

The Las Ve­gas Con­ven­tion and Vis­i­tors Author­ity will con­sider spend­ing $80 mil­lion over 20 years on the nam­ing rights for the “Las Ve­gas Ball­park,” a Triple A base­ball sta­dium in Sum­mer­lin where the Las Ve­gas 51s would play be­gin­ning in 2019.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s board of di­rec­tors is sched­uled to vote Tues­day on the pro­posal and a 36-page con­tract be­tween the author­ity and Clark County Las Ve­gas Sta­dium LLC, a sub­sidiary of Sum­mer­lin Las Ve­gas Base­ball Club LLC. Sum­mer­lin Las Ve­gas Base­ball Club owns the 51s and is af­fil­i­ated with the Howard Hughes Corp., de­vel­op­ers of the mas­ter-planned com­mu­nity of Sum­mer­lin and Down­town Sum­mer­lin, a 1.8 mil­lion-square-foot re­tail and of­fice com­plex that opened in 2014.

The Las Ve­gas Ball­park site would be ad­ja­cent to Down­town Sum­mer­lin, east of Red Rock Re­sort near the new NHL Ve­gas Golden Knights prac­tice fa­cil­ity.

The con­tract be­tween the author­ity and Hughes of­fi­cials has been in the works since June.

The agree­ment the author­ity board will con­sider Tues­day would guar­an­tee $4 mil­lion an­nu­ally for a 20-year term be­gin­ning in the 2019 fis­cal year, ex­tend­ing into 2038.

Among the con­di­tions of the agree­ment are that the Las Ve­gas brand, which the author­ity man­ages as a des­ti­na­tion mar­ket­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion, be the dom­i­nant spon­sor and ap­pear in all sig­nage — ex­te­rior, con­course, suites, score­board and out­field walls as well as ad­ver­tis­ing on video walls.

The team name also is re­quired to in­clude “Las Ve­gas.”

New ap­proach

The pro­posed agree­ment rep­re­sents a shift in the author­ity’s busi­ness model re­gard­ing sports mar­ket­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pro­vided to board mem­bers, the author­ity’s role with the 51s is tran­si­tion­ing from be­ing a land­lord and owner-op­er­a­tor of a sta­dium to ad­min­is­tra­tor of a sports mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tive tar­geted at driv­ing vis­i­ta­tion and vis­i­tor spend­ing.

The an­nual fee will give the author­ity broad rights at what is pro­jected to be 100 an­nual events at the sta­dium, plus up to four Ma­jor League Base­ball ex­hi­bi­tion games. Un­der the terms, there would be two pre­sea­son ex­hi­bi­tion games — the author­ity’s an­nual Big League Week­end — plus two ad­di­tional games. If the two ad­di­tional games can’t be sched­uled, the author­ity has the right to re­place

them with five com­pa­ra­ble events that drive vis­i­ta­tion and pro­vide equiv­a­lent mar­ket­ing and me­dia value.

Ac­cord­ing to the con­tract, no por­tion of the an­nual fee would be paid un­til the Las Ve­gas Ball­park is open and the base­ball team be­gins its first sea­son there in 2019.

The author­ity has man­aged Cash­man Cen­ter and its ad­ja­cent sta­dium, Cash­man Field, for Las Ve­gas-based mi­nor league teams since 1983, when the Las Ve­gas Stars be­gan play.

The author­ity has been los­ing an es­ti­mated $5 mil­lion a year man­ag­ing Cash­man with most lu­cra­tive con­ven­tion and trade show events pushed in­stead to the Las Ve­gas Con­ven­tion Cen­ter or to the fa­cil­i­ties of the author­ity’s re­sort part­ners. Cash­man largely has been used for small com­mu­nity-ori­ented events.

A 55-acre site

The 55 acres of Cash­man Cen­ter, which opened in 1948, is owned by the city but leased to the author­ity to bring events to the down­town area. As the author­ity be­gan de­vel­op­ing plans to ex­pand and ren­o­vate the Las Ve­gas Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, it moved to­ward re­turn­ing the prop­erty to the city and us­ing the sav­ings to help pay for the $1.4 bil­lion ex­pan­sion project ap­proved in May.

In June, the author­ity turned re­spon­si­bil­ity for Cash­man Cen­ter over to the city of Las Ve­gas, keep­ing its con­tract with the sta­dium and the 51s un­til the team is able to move to the planned Sum­mer­lin venue.

Once the city took over Cash­man, it be­gan work­ing with the United Soc­cer League and the founder of a lo­cal fran­chise, Brett Lash­brook. In Au­gust, Lash­brook an­nounced that the team — the Las Ve­gas Lights FC — would be­gin play­ing at Cash­man in 2018, shar­ing the field with the 51s.

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