Baseball Stadium Not Slated for Site of Rio Casino Near Las Vegas Strip

Posted on: January 8, 2021, 02:21h. 

Last updated on: January 8, 2021, 03:21h.

A Major League Baseball stadium is not slated to be built where the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino is located near the Las Vegas Strip, according to a published account.

Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino
The Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino towers over nearby trees just west of the Las Vegas Strip. The resort is not slated to be demolished, a casino executive said. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

An executive for Dreamscape Companies this week shot down rumors that a baseball stadium would be build at the Rio site, or that the hotel-casino would be demolished, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Dreamscape owns the resort and 22 acres of unused property at the location, just west of Caesars Palace. The Rio is being managed by Caesars Entertainment.

Dreamscape executive Eric Birnbaum told the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday that it is “amazing the rumors that get thrown out there.”

Civic leaders have attempted to lure the American League’s Oakland Athletics or another major league team to Southern Nevada. Construction of a big-league ballpark is seen as one way to attract a team. Las Vegas is home to the Athletics’ Triple-A farm team, the Las Vegas Aviators. The Pacific Coast League Aviators play in a minor league ballpark west of downtown near Red Rock Resort Casino and Spa.

In recent years, the National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights have begun play at T-Mobile Arena on the Strip. The National Football League’s Raiders moved from Oakland to Las Vegas before the start of this season and play in the new Allegiant Stadium just west of the Strip. Some boosters in the Las Vegas area now are hoping to get a National Basketball Association team and a big league baseball team. 

A baseball stadium apparently would have to be built somewhere besides where the Rio is located. The newspaper reported that Birnbaum “dismissed reports” the Rio would be imploded or a stadium would be built there.

Ive heard everything about how were going to tear it down,” he said. “Im a big baseball fan, so I was excited to hear we were recruiting the Oakland Athletics (to the city). But that was never the case.”

‘Monster Refresh’

Birnbaum said the coronavirus pandemic has slowed down the Rio’s plans to upgrade, according to the newspaper. He said he expects a “monster refresh” for the resort and its 2,522 suites in the next few years. The Rio opened in 1990.

Birnbaum noted that the Rio is not a “high-end” hotel-casino like the Wynn Las Vegas or Cosmopolitan. Both of these luxury resorts are on the Strip.

But were not the low-end,” Birnbaum said. “We equate it to approachable luxury. You get good value for what youre getting, and its a good experience at a price point that you dont feel youre getting taken advantage of.”

Post-Pandemic Comeback 

At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) ordered casinos to close. He allowed them to reopen June 4. Some casinos opened right away. Others began operating again over time. The Rio was one of the last in the area to reopen. It began operating again on Dec. 22.

Birnbaum said he expects tourism in the area, and at the Rio, to recover when COVID-19 is under control.

Our view is that there is going to be a vaccine and as a result, theres going to be a lot of pent-up demand that is forthcoming,” he said. Our view — and we could be wrong — is that Vegas is poised to really benefit from that.”