Chris Milam, owner of Silver State Baseball LLC, announced today that he has formally entered into a contract with Stevens Baseball Group LLC to purchase the Las Vegas 51s for an undisclosed price. Subject to final league approval ownership of the franchise is expected to be transferred by the end of July. (Purchase price of $20 million according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal)
“We couldn’t be more excited about reaching an agreement to acquire the Las Vegas 51s,” said Milam. “Acquiring this first franchise is an important step in the creation of the Las Vegas National Sports Center which will be the new home of the 51s as well as allow for the expansion of professional sports into the Las Vegas market.”
Milam's super-aggressive plan calls for three arenas/stadiums adjacent to I-15, just to the west of Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
In addition to a new state-of-the-art ballpark, the $1.95 billion Las Vegas National Sports Center will also contain two additional privately owned and financed venues; a 17,500 seat state-of-the-art arena designed for NBA basketball and a 36,000 seat state-of-the-art stadium designed for MLS Soccer. In addition to housing professional sports, all three venues are also anticipated as new homes for NCAA basketball, baseball, football and soccer.
The new ballpark (9,000 seats) has been designed to provide for expansion to 36,000 seats for MLB baseball. The new stadium has been designed to provide for on-demand expansion to 50,000 seats for NCAA events and international friendlies, and can be permanently expanded to 72,000 seats for NFL football.
The Las Vegas Sun's John Ralston says things could move quickly on the legislative front:
The Legislature is expected to be involved soon, helping Milam pass a measure that would allow him to create a taxing district on the land, which he is negotiating to buy from banks. This could all happen as soon as next week. Considering the project’s proximity to one of its properties, I can’t imagine the MGM folks will be too upset with this one.
Don Logan, the Executive Director of the 51's, joined DC and the Sunshine Man to talk about the purchase and future stadium plans for the team.
I questioned whether the size of the property was big enough to house three facilities. After driving by the area last night, I realized I'd underestimated its size. Some additional property will have to be purchased in the area for parking facilities and the road expansion will be a major undertaking, but it's a solid location. Let's see what happens next.
Silver State spokeswoman Lee Haney laid out the timetable:
While construction is slated to start simultaneously on all three venues this year, Haney said the arena is expected to be finished first, open for NBA action in the fall of 2013. The soccer stadium and ballpark will open, in that order, in 2014.