Posted on: October 21, 2022, 11:24h.
Last updated on: October 21, 2022, 11:56h.
Jackie Robinson — the former basketball player, not the former baseball player who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball — only played 22 games in the National Basketball Association. But the 67-year-old Los Angeles native, who played his college ball at UNLV, made plenty of wealthy friends during his career.
Those relationships led to Robinson nearly a decade ago floating a concept to build a sprawling sports arena and hotel resort on the Las Vegas Strip between the Sahara and the unfinished Fontainebleau.
Robinson first unveiled plans for the All Net Resort & Arena in December 2013. Then a $1.3 billion development, the blueprint called for an indoor sports arena and luxury hotel. The project has greatly expanded since, and so has its budget. But financing issues have repeatedly stalled construction.
Almost nine years later, the All Net Resort & Arena project site remains a vacant dirt pit. Facing criticism from the Clark County Commission and pressures to either develop or sell the site, Robinson announced this week that he’s secured new funding and that the project is once again a go.
Vague Family Investor
Robinson held a media event this week at the Stirling Club in Las Vegas to recognize his newest investor, and possible All Net Resort & Arena’s lifesaver. The person is Todd Owen, who oversees the Clearwater Perpetual Master Trust.
Owen, a former US Navy SEAL who ventured into private equity after serving the country, manages the family trust of a wealthy Wyoming-based family. Owen said a mutual friend encouraged him to meet with Robinson to discuss the All Net project.
With the financial support of the family Owen represents, Robinson’s sports arena and hotel resort plans are back on. Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who told Robinson to “fish or cut bait” last year, attended this week’s All Net presser. The county official said he likes what he’s seeing.
Everything I’ve seen to date looks very positive,” Segerblom said, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Segerblom is optimistic regarding the Strip’s northern end. The $4.3 billion Resorts World opened in June 2021, and the long-delayed Fontainebleau is planning to open in about a year’s time.
“The only problem is this hole,” Segerblom said of Robinson’s 27-acre All Net project site. “Now, we’re going to fill that hole with this gorgeous facility.”
Details on the trust represented by Owen are scant. But the Clearwater investment vehicle apparently has deep pockets. Owen says the trust will allocate up to $6 billion to bring the All Net development to reality.
Robinson hopes it doesn’t come anywhere near that number. But the price tag continues to increase.
Robinson’s latest financial estimate for the resort is now $4.9 billion. Robinson is targeting completion of the property by the end of 2025.
The latest All Net Resort & Arena blueprint includes an arena with 23K seats for basketball and 25K seats for concerts and boxing. The 70-story hotel is to include 2,500 rooms, with a rooftop pool and restaurant.
More than 275,000 square feet of convention space is included, as is a 24-lane bowling alley, 12-screen movie theater, 60,000-square-foot broadcast production studio, and 400,000 square feet of food and retail shopping space.
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