After nearly a decade of high hopes and soaring promises, the curtain has fallen on the grand vision of Las Vegas’ All Net Arena. Envisaged as a glittering $5 billion multipurpose venue, complete with a 22,000-seat basketball arena, a non-gaming hotel, convention center, movie theater, and even a grocery store, the dream has languished, suffocated by a chronic absence of tangible funding.
The Clark County Zoning Commission delivered the project’s coup de grâce on Tuesday with a unanimous vote, a stark 7-0 that echoed through the chambers, denying the extension of the project’s vital permits. A painful admission of defeat for what was once the pet project of many, including Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom.
“We’ve followed the money everywhere around the world,” Commissioner Segerblom confessed with undeniable dejection, “and truthfully, it just hasn’t happened.” His voice carried the weight of dashed dreams as he motioned to deny the permit extension, marking the end of the All Net Arena’s saga—a vision that shattered against the harsh shores of reality.
At the project’s purported site, wedged between the bustling Sahara and the Fontainebleau on the bustling Las Vegas Strip, lies a 26-acre expanse that was once the playground of the Wet N’ Wild water park. Here, amid the bustling heart of Sin City, the All Net Arena was to rise like a phoenix, heralding a new age for the desert metropolis with NBA and UNLV basketball legend Jackie Robinson at its helm.
Promises of groundbreaking echoed as early as a decade ago, with the occasional shuffle of earth and the strategic placement of construction vehicles masquerading as the prelude to progress. Robinson, eager to wield the illusion of momentum, even paraded a fleet of trucks across the barren lot in 2017, a spectacle more akin to theater than actual construction.
The saga carried on with a carousel of potential benefactors: Credit Suisse, the Bank of Qatar, and a host of unnamed Korean investors—all proclaimed as the financial saviors of the All Net Arena. Each announcement, brimming with certainty, ultimately faded into the annals of never-came-to-be.
In what was presented, with much fanfare, as a breakthrough, Robinson last heralded financing from the depths of Wyoming—a family investment fund by the name of Clearwater Perpetual Master Trust, which purportedly committed a staggering $5 billion BELOC line of credit as recently as October 2022.
The Clark County Commission, in an act of cautious optimism, granted what it termed a final land use permit extension, a lifeline demanding construction commencement by September 6. While the zoning commission stretched the project’s lease on life by a threadbare 4-3 margin, those fleeting hopes were once again dashed as not a brick was laid, nor a beam erected.
In an unforgiving twist of fate, the All Net Arena, if it ever aims to claw its way back from the abyss, would have to navigate the costly and arduous labyrinth of permit applications and approvals from the ground up—a daunting task for a dream that has, for now, slipped into the annals of Las Vegas lore.