The Las Vegas entertainment scene is about to change forever with the opening of the T-Mobile Arena on April 6!! Finally, Las Vegas will step into the modern era and be able to host the big touring shows and events that have by-passed us for the last decade. The new $375 million privately financed, 20,000 seat arena will have all the modern amenities for both the fans and the performers.
Up until now, the big names, big shows would either bypass Las Vegas or have to scale back the productions. That just never felt right for a town that bills itself as the entertainment capital of the world!! The largest indoor arena is Thomas and Mack on the UNLV campus holding on average around 15,000 people and for outdoor, we have Sam Boyd Stadium, 9 miles off the Strip.
When MGM and AEG broke ground for it behind New York-New York, they called it The Las Vegas Arena. In January, T-Mobile bought the naming rights and now its called T-Mobile Area and sits next to Toshiba Plaza and that is part of MGM’s “Park”. Got all that??
The big question always was “Who Gets To break the Seal?” Who gets to play in the big bowl first? Many thought it would be a UFC fight since they were making the most noise about wanting to be there. But instead, it will be a Las Vegas night with local home-town rock gods, The Killers and of course, you can’t have a Las Vegas event this big without inviting Mr Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton!
After that, it’s pretty much a star-studded few months with the biggest names rolling in and making waves. Several of them coming back multiple times! More names and events seem to be added almost weekly. Billy Joel, Janet Jackson, George Strait, etc…
Thanks to Steve Wynn for getting Garth Brooks to see the Vegas lights a few years ago, Garth is setting up a series of play dates here and all of them are selling fast. The Professional Bull Riders (PBR), who have always held their season-ending World Finals in Las Vegas, has agreed to move the big show over to the new arena. The National Finals Rodeo (NFR) will stay at Thomas and Mack for now. They need a different set up then what this place can arrange.
Here is the current schedule of events:
- The Killers with Wayne Newton – April 6, 2016
- Gun’s N’ Roses & Alice in Chains – April 8/9, 2016
- The Harlem Globetrotters – April 19, 2016
- George Strait & Kacey Musgraves – April 22/23
George Strait was the first musical act to sign on and set up a series of dates!
- Billy Joel – April 30, 2016
- Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan – May 7, 2016
- Janet Jackson – May 14, 2016
- Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood – June 24/25
- Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood – July 2/3/4
- UFC 200 – July 9
- Dixie Chicks Reunion – July 16, 2016
- George Strait & Kacey Musgraves – September 9/10
- Keith Urban, Brett Eldredge & Maren Morris – October 21
- PBR – Professional Bull Riders World Finals – Nov 2-6
- George Strait & Kacey Musgraves – Dec 2/3
More Shows and Events Being Added – Check here for Tickets
Of course, this all comes at a cost. For many of the locals and those from the region, that means the introduction of “Paid Parking” on the Las Vegas Strip. An idea that is not being welcomed in any part of the city except by those who will be selling the parking!! However, MGM has already started to build a new parking garage behind Excalibur that will be dedicated to the new arena and other options are being discussed to move people around easier. Time will tell.
Thank You to Tom Donoghue for the photos and Maverick Helicopters for the air support!!