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Allison Stephens, Regent, Nevada System of Higher Education
BY AMY KINGSLEY --The stadium portion of the campus-improvement project called UNLV Now is big, flashy and expensive, with a $900 million price tag, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
But UNLV Now isn’t just a stadium construction plan. The project includes a “residential village” with new dorms and retail spaces. That part of the plan has been overlooked in the rush to build a stadium, said Regent Allison Stephens, who represents Clark County. She wants to change that, and emphasize the residential improvements instead of the stadium, which is being pitched as a “Mega Events Center.”
“Really the focus should be on the residential aspects of this project, the shopping aspects of this project and getting a mega events center that maybe isn’t so mega, and might actually be realistic and something we can do.”
The stadium doesn’t serve the students as much as it serves the resort industry, Stephens said. Major casino companies want a new stadium for big events like National Finals Rodeo. And the public has been seduced by flashy renderings of the domed, 60,000-seat stadium.
“This is new. This is big. This is very Las Vegas. So naturally I think that people are drawn to it. And naturally, I think we should take a look at it. I think it needs to be reasonable. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it. What I’m saying is we’ve got to step back, get back into reality and think about our campus environment first.”