Former NBA Player Takes Another Shot at Las Vegas Strip Project

Posted on: April 6, 2021, 02:11h. 

Last updated on: April 6, 2021, 07:22h.

Ex-NBA pro Jackie Robinson’s plan to build a sports arena and hotel at a vacant location on the Las Vegas Strip could be back in play.

Jackie Robinson
Las Vegas developer Jackie Robinson surveys the site of his proposed sports arena and hotel during the early planning stages in 2014. The site is on the Strip near East Sahara Avenue. (Photo: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Robinson, 65, is a former UNLV basketball player whose National Basketball Association career included stints with the Seattle SuperSonics, Detroit Pistons, and Chicago Bulls.

He recently submitted an agreement calling for a lease-with-option-to-buy plan to acquire the 27-acre space for $400 million, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The empty lot is between Sahara Las Vegas and the unfinished former Fontainebleau project. This site once had been the location of the Wet ‘n’ Wild water park. Two years ago, the Southern Nevada Health District was called in to capture mosquitoes in standing rainwater at the vacant site, the newspaper reported.

The Clark County Commission this week is set to consider the development agreement for a 22,000-seat arena and luxury hotel at the northeast end of the Strip.

Strip Action

In 2014, a groundbreaking took place at the site on the Strip just south of East Sahara Avenue. An excavation occurred three years year.

The initial plans called for an arena with a retractable roof, two non-gaming hotels, retail space, and an entertainment complex to include restaurants and a movie theater. The developers are hoping to attract an NBA team to Las Vegas.

The project has been labeled the All Net Resort and Arena. The website on Tuesday had no information other than an unadorned title page with the message, “Get Ready… Something Really Cool Is Coming Soon.”

COVID-19 Delays

If the project is built, Robinson’s company, Dribble Dunk, would pay Las Vegas executive Paul Lowden’s All Net Land Development LLC $100,000 a month in rent, according to KSNV-TV. Robinson would have an option to buy the land for $400 million.

In October, the Clark County Commission gave Robinson until this month to secure the bond and development agreement for the project.

Dr. Loring Jacobs, an All Net board member, told the television station in March that Robinson is working on financing and other requirements. Jacobs said the coronavirus pandemic set the company back. 

“The good news is it’s gonna take about three years to build the project, so by the time the project’s done, things should be at full-stroke again, locally, hopefully,” Jacobs said.

‘Fish or Cut Bait’ 

Commissioner Tick Segerblom told the newspaper he was relieved the development agreement was filed in time for Wednesday’s commission meeting. The project is in Segerblom’s district. Segerblom recently was in the news for proposing the plan to rename McCarran International Airport for former US Sen. Harry Reid (D).

Segerblom said the market will decide whether Robinson can make the project happen and whether Southern Nevada needs another arena.

The Strip already is home to T-Mobile Arena, home of the National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights. The arena, near Park MGM on the west side of the Strip, also has hosted concerts and other entertainment events.

The Thomas and Mack Center, just east of the Strip, is the longtime site of UNLV men’s and women’s sporting events. The center has hosted other activities, including concerts, boxing matches, and more. In the mid-1980s, the NBA’s Utah Jazz played some home games at Thomas and Mack.

In October, Segerblom said it was time for the All Net developers to “fish or cut bait” on the new project, the newspaper reported.

“If you can’t do this, let’s open it up so somebody else can come in and take advantage of that property,” he said.