LV Arena

MGM arena brings traffic concerns

Reported by: Tom Hawley
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Updated: 3/19 9:01 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV My News 3) — If you drive down Interstate 15 at Tropicana Avenue, it’s hard not to notice the arena taking shape behind New York New York.The arena, once in operation, is expected to bring more traffic to an already congested area.

We’re starting to get an idea just how big this thing is. The size of the crowds will depend on the event, but maximum capacity is about 20,000.

How will people get in and out? Where will a new parking garage be built? It turns out . . . this area doesn’t need one. “It was actually master-planned for a couple of other key projects that never transpired,” says MGM Arena chief Mark Prows. A hotel and condominium tower were once proposed for the site.

“Consequently, all the infrastructure on both the New York New York garage as well as the Aria garage were overbuilt at different times,” Prows says. “And parking won’t be limited to the immediate area.” He says trams and other transit both to the east and west sides of the Strip through the resort corridor is going to help move people through the area.

A traffic impacts analysis put together last year as a condition of approval also includes new ways to move vehicles. Starting with rue de Monte Carlo—now renamed Park Avenue — to be widened and realigned. Also planned is a new exit from the arena onto westbound Tropicana. “But the key arterial really is coming from southbound I-15,” Prows says. “It will take you around as you exit and come over that flyover. It will cut back around through Excalibur and connect to the Frank Sinatra Drive.”

The hope is to spread the traffic and parking around. “I think people find their own places and spaces that they like to eat and they like to go over through different places,” Prows says. “So I think they’ll find their own way.”

You’ll see work on that new loop ramp through the Excalibur parking lot start later this year. The Las Vegas Arena—to use the official name—is set to open in spring of 2016.