Another Day, Another Bullshit Project: $1.2 Billion Z Athlete Village

We should probably start by saying we’re all doomed.

Why? Because yet another billion-dollar project has been announced with zero chance of happening and literally no other news outlet has the brains or balls to call bullshit.

This time, it’s a $1.2 billion “Z Athlete Village,” “poised to revolutionize the athletic industry through the strategic utilization of artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology on the game changing campus.” We have honestly run out of faces and palms.

It’s a rebus, fellow kids. Sound it out. Domesticated swine are sometimes called hogs. This one is taking a bath, or washing.

Breaking: A.I. is the new “immersive.”

Here’s the news release, just so you don’t think we’re pranking you.

There is no evidence Z Athlete or its CEO Zig Ziegler, a sports kinesiologist, has the means to fund this $1.2 billion “sports training center and athlete village.”

No, not that Zig Ziegler, another one. The one you’ve heard of died in 2012 and has a much better chance of bringing this project to fruition than the one they’re referring to in the news release.

Reminder: It cost $1.156 billion to build Circa, an entire Las Vegas resort that has a business model and generates revenue and actually exists.

Top snake salesman Ziegler says, “After an extensive evaluation process, Las Vegas emerged as the perfect location for Z Athlete Village.”

Why? Because the project originally announced for Scottsdale never materialized. Why? Because it’s all a steaming pile of WTF.

We’ve seen this over and over in Las Vegas, and the local media continues to trumpet these delusional announcements. There was All Net (for a decade) and Bleutech Park and Majestic Las Vegas and Moon Resort and Atari Hotel and King David Hotel and LVXP and an alleged new Bally’s Corp. casino on the Tropicana site and myriad others.

It’s understandable these ridiculous projects are announced, what’s not understandable is the utter lack of critical thought by Las Vegas media given the clearly dubious claims lofted by project developers. News outlets give credence to these nutty developers, who then use the media coverage to try and dupe investors into contributing to their boondoggles.

Not only does local media not realize the emperor has no clothes, they think he’s probing their orifices because he’s trying to ensure their recta are in good working order and a fist is more effective at detecting problems than just one finger.

Why should you believe this blog over the word of a visionary sports kinesiologist? Because that’s not a thing.

Also not a thing? The “destination will feature over 1,000 condotel units.” This hasn’t been a thing since the 2008 housing crash. Per the news release, “The condotel units at Z Athlete Village provide investors a chance to be part of a vibrant community dedicated to sports excellence.”

So, you’re saying you don’t have the financial resources to do any of the things you’re claiming you’re doing it. Got it. This isn’t rocket science.

Other parts of the project that won’t exist: “Z Athlete Factory Sports Performance and Technology Center, the world’s largest indoor track and field arena, a 2,600-seat aquatics center, The Gymnastics Apex, a cutting-edge Olympics caliber gymnastics center and The Annex Indoor Courts.”

Z insipidity.

Where is all this happening? “The company has narrowed its options to two potential sites, with the final selection expected to be under contract within the next 30 days.” Very specific there, and we’re betting the pig farm on the over.

The Dream Las Vegas resort was definitely getting financing within two weeks. They said that in March 2023 and the construction remains idle next to the Pinball Hall of Fame near the Las Vegas sign.

We searched the Googles and saw a page on the Z Athlete Factory site stating the facility would be in Summerlin, but the page has since been deleted. Yes, we screen grabbed it. This is not our first hogwash rodeo. Which should be a thing, as long as the hogs are cool with it.

A countdown clock on the Z Athlete site says 871 days. “Soon” is relative.

We’re sort of over having to be the voice of reason with these idiotic projects. We always sound so negative and pessimistic. But we don’t sound that way when real projects are announced. This isn’t that.

The blame doesn’t just land on our crappy local journalism, the LVCVA is a key enabler, too. They brought us the shitshow that is F1, then trumpeted the financial success of four casinos while excluding the financial devastation suffered by the majority of Las Vegas businesses. They are pushing the A’s relocation, despite the fact the A’s have yet to show how they plan to pay for their imaginary ballpark. The LVCVA has given its stamp of approval to this Z Athlete Village, too.

“Upon opening, Z Athlete Village and its venues will change the landscape of sports in Las Vegas, paving the way to expand the portfolio of sports programming that the destination can host,” said Lisa Motley, vice president of sports and special events for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). “We’re excited to help make this campus a reality.” How, exactly? Through flushing more tax dollars? Please.

Why wouldn’t local media gobble this up? It’s the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The taxpayer-funded agency charged with promoting and growing Las Vegas. The agency that hires nimrods (sorry, analysts) like Jeremy Aguero of Applied Analysis to pull numbers out of his butt in support of those goals, with zero accountability when those numbers are wrong and taxpayers are left holding the bag.

Don’t get us started.

Anyway, a make-believe project was announced and we’re only writing about this so later we can point back to this story and say we told you so. No sources required, just half a brain.

And don’t think we didn’t hear what you just thought. Rude.

Update (6/14/24): We asked Z Athlete how the project is being funded and received this statement: “Z Athlete Village is a privately held company funded by a mix of debt, venture capital, and private equity.” The bottom line is never trust any person, organization or company that uses the pedantic and pompous Oxford comma. ‘Nuff said.