Las Vegas Is Getting A Sports Stadium

Las Vegas has long been talking about building an arena to host sporting events and big-name concerts, and now that idea seems one step closer to reality. On Tuesday, MGM Resorts International and entertainment company AEG announced the two entities will join forces to build a 20,000-set indoor venue just off the Las Vegas Strip.

The $350 million arena will be the centerpiece to a new pedestrian mall being developed on a piece of MGM-owned land between the New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts. Ground will be broken next summer, and the arena is expected to be completed by spring 2016. Design firm Populous, the powerhouse behind London’s O2 arena and Kansas City’s Sprint Center, will draw up plans for the arena.

Although there is no sports franchise lined up for the stadium, Associated Press reports former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman had previously tried to attract a developer to build a stadium fit for a pro hockey or basketball franchise. Developers are just hoping the event capital of the world will be able to attract high-profile acts and sporting matches to fill the stadium to capacity.

[via Skift]

Cruise Lines And Vegas: Once Foes, Now Friends

In the past, cruise lines would recoil at being compared to a floating ’70s Las Vegas, even with their ships complemented with neon lights and production shows that featured plumed fan dancers. That belly-up-to-the-buffet stereotype was a bad rap that cruise lines tried to shake for decades.

But that was before both the world of Vegas and the world of cruise vacations survived the worst economic period since the Great Depression, grew up and figured out that they could help each other. Formerly seen as foes, competing for the same polyester-clad vacationer, the two popular travel options are now working together.

Royal Caribbean International and MGM Resorts International have announced an unprecedented strategic relationship that will allow members of both companies loyalty programs to share benefits. Beginning in January 2013, members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society and MGM’s M life will receive top-shelf offers and benefits, growing as they prove loyalty by giving either company more business.”Whether on land or at sea, Crown & Anchor Society and M life members will enjoy unprecedented recognition for their dedication to our brands,” said Lisa Bauer, executive vice president of Global Sales and Marketing for Royal Caribbean International in a Miami Herald report. “We are delighted to be an M life preferred partner and welcome M life members aboard to experience our world-renowned Gold Anchor Service, innovative cruise ships, unexpected onboard amenities, and unforgettable itineraries to exciting destinations.”

MGM’s M life members will receive offers with a range of benefits when sailing with Royal Caribbean. As members advance to the next M life Tier Level, their cruise offers and benefits will grow. International and domestic cruises will be awarded during special MGM Resorts’ promotions and slot tournaments.

Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society members will receive M life offers and benefits including pre-sale access to tickets for A-list concerts and championship boxing matches, priority reservations, priority hotel check-in, room upgrades, VIP services and more, based on their Royal Caribbean loyalty level.

[Photo Credit: Flickr user disneybrent]