It’s showtime for the largest sports and entertainment venue to ever hit the Strip, the 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena.
In 2013, when plans to build a 20,000-seat arena on the Vegas Strip were first announced by MGM Resorts International and AEG Live, many wondered if the risky joint venture would ever come to fruition. Just three short years later, the venue now called the T-Mobile Arena is set to open on April 6 with a concert by hometown heroes The Killers, Wayne Newton, and Shamir. Then on opening weekend, Guns N’ Roses will kick off their long-awaited reunion tour at the arena. “Guns N’ Roses choosing to return to the stage in their full glory on the Las Vegas Strip to open T-Mobile Arena is rock ’n’ roll history,” says Bobby Reynolds, vice president of booking for AEG Live Las Vegas.
Less visible but still instrumental in the venue’s development was Populous, a global design firm responsible for conceptualizing big-name arenas from Orlando’s Amway Center to London’s O2. “Everyone in the sports and entertainment market wanted to design the new venue for Las Vegas,” says Brad Clark, the firm’s senior principal. “We celebrated with victory cigars and dug in the next day to design something special.”
“Something special” is an understatement. From the Strip, the arena’s striking glass façade shines with high-tech LED surfacing that doubles as an evolving billboard; inside, a deftly tailored seating bowl optimizes sightlines. “While Las Vegas doesn’t yet have a professional sports franchise,” Clark offers, “Populous was challenged to create a design that would adapt to a future NBA or NHL team.” In the meantime, strategic partnerships with UFC, Top Rank Boxing, and Mayweather Promotions will see a variety of highly anticipated sporting events take center stage, while VIP spaces like the cantilevered Hyde Lounge and a collection of posh bunker suites offer exclusive viewing experiences.
“We were able to do things here that we’ve never done before,” Clark adds. “We asked ourselves, ‘Why not create something authentic in a place that’s defined by re-creations of other places?’ Crazy, huh?” 844-582-7362