MGM Says Site of Las Vegas Shooting to Become Community Center

Posted on: September 5, 2019, 03:17h. 

Last updated on: September 6, 2019, 01:36h.

MGM Resorts International plans to turn the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history into a community and athletics center, which the company hopes will one day host high-school basketball tournaments and indoor soccer for kids.

Las Vegas shooting
The view from shooter Stephen Paddock’s suite onto the Las Vegas Village, where 58 people were murdered on the night of October 1, 2017. (Image: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

MGM owns both the Las Vegas Village — where thousands gathered for the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017 — and the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino on the other side of the Strip.

It was from a suite on the 32nd floor of the hotel that Stephen Paddock opened fire on festivalgoers that night. The shooting lasted for more ten minutes, killing 58 and injuring hundreds more, before Paddock turned the gun on himself. To this day, his motives remain a mystery.

Never Forget

“We know that for many, the Village property will forever be linked to the tragic loss of life that took place there on October 1st,” MGM said in a statement. “We will never forget the victims, and all of those impacted by that evening.

…It was important to us that the long-term use of the property include the community in some way,” MGM added. “We also plan to create a space on the property to remember the victims of the tragedy.”

The company said the center will host sporting events and community gatherings, including a place for the Las Vegas Aces, the MGM-owned women’s basketball team, to “practice and engage with the community to inspire the next generation of female athletes.”

It was about “being part of the community effort to continue healing and moving forward,” it added.

MGM had previously considered turning the Village into a SWAT command center.

Put Up A Parking Lot

But the community center is a long-term goal. In the short-term, the space will be used as a parking lot to serve the Allegiant Stadium, which from next year will be the home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that not everyone was delighted about this.

A parking lot? That is not going to sit well with everybody that is still in pain,” Tracy Shipp, who lost her sister in the shooting, told LVRJ. “My grief counselor says the second year is even harder than the first, and I think the timing of this news … I mean, don’t you have to ask what we feel?”

Many in this city have not forgiven MGM for its failed effort to sue the survivors of the massacre and the relatives of the dead.

The casino giant was not seeking money from the victims but hoped to consolidate the lawsuits that were piling up against it into one federal case, where it planned to argue that an obscure anti-terrorism law protected it from liability.

In the wake of the atrocity, around 4,000 people joined class-action lawsuits accusing MGM of a failure of duty of reasonable care to monitor Paddock’s activity.

MGM’s gambit was denied by the courts and the company has since entered mediation with the victims.