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Former NBA player announces plans for $1.3 billion development with hotel and sports arena in Las Vegas

The former NBA player Jackie Robinson has announced plans to begin construction on a privately funded project this spring that will renovate the SLS Las Vegas hotel and casino. The basketball star will renovate the property into a 22,000-seat stadium which is scheduled to open at the end of 2016 and expected to cost $690 million.

Former NBA player announces plans for $1.3 billion development with hotel and sports arena in Las Vegas

Jackie Robinson, the former National Basketball Association (NBA) player has revealed plans to transform the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas into a huge sports arena, casino and hotel.

The NBA star said that construction is expected to begin in the spring on the privately funded project which will transform the Las Vegas hotel into a 22,000-seat stadium and hotel, costing $1.3 billion.

This will be the second arena to be built on the "Las Vegas Strip" as MGM Resorts International is building a similarly-sized stadium on the opposite side, in a joint venture with sports and entertainment promoter AEG.

Robinson said the development will include an 863,000-square-foot arena with four levels, a retractable roof and a nightclub and it will host an array of sporting events, rodeo events and concerts. He added that the new outdoor promenade will have shops, restaurants, and a luxury Las Vegas hotel with 500 guest rooms and a wedding chapel.

Mr Robinson commented:

"I think it's the only place that's going to have the Chicago Bears at one end and Beyonce at the other end, and an arena in both places. It's a unique place, it's not like Kansas City. It can support more than one event. When you leave an arena, you go back to an empty parking lot and sit in traffic for two hours. I think it would be nice if you could go out from an arena and go directly from a nightclub or to a restaurant or do some shopping."

The arena is expected to cost $690 million while the newest addition to Las Vegas hotels will cost $650 million. Both developments are expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

After playing basketball at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with coach Jerry Tarkanian from 1973 to 1978, Robinson is no stranger to Las Vegas and after a career in the NBA, he has also worked as a general contractor, hotel manager and airport concession owner.

Las Vegas is one of the most popular tourists destinations in the United States, and as well as being a hotspot for destination weddings, the city is thriving with nightclubs, bars, theatres, music venues and an array of hotels and resorts, from Elvis-themed accommodation to upscale hotels.

Tourists visiting Las Vegas can enjoy concerts, sports game, casino nights and attractions such as the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Fountain Show at Bellagio, The Neon Museum Las Vegas, the Flamingo Garden, and the Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park plus theme parks and aquariums.

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