Considerable interest and activity has been experienced in the development of sports and entertainment facilities in the Las Vegas – Southern Nevada area. Guy Hobbs, Managing Director of Hobbs Ong, has served in a key advisory position for each of these projects. Hobbs Ong has been fortunate to serve in these advisory roles for these projects, briefly discussed below.
Hobbs Ong was engaged by MGM Resorts to conduct a review of fiscal and economic impacts for the development of a multipurpose arena on the Las Vegas Strip. This engagement involved a review of materials prepared by other economic consulting firms, collection of primary data relative to project impacts, and generation of a final report summarizing the expected economic output, job creation, income and fiscal effects. The report was ultimately used by the project developers to reach agreement with local government service providers related to the provision of public services to the project. The debut of the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip was in April 2016.
Hobbs Ong was engaged by the Howard Hughes Corporation to conduct a variety of analyses in support of a project to relocate the Las Vegas 51’s from the Cashman Center to a new location in the unincorporated County area of Summerlin. The first undertaking was to prepare an economic and fiscal impact analysis relative to the construction and operation of a new stadium in Summerlin, taking into consideration the closure of the current Cashman location. The next undertaking was to provide analytical and strategic support to the Howard Hughes Corporation in constructing a funding partnership with Clark County, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and other stakeholder parties. The ultimate objective of this engagement was to facilitate a funding and financing solution for the new stadium project. As is the case with other stadium and arena projects, this required a very specialized skill set to balance the financial elements with the political forces bearing upon the overall solution.
Hobbs Ong was engaged by Madison Square Garden (“MSG”) and the Las Vegas Sands (“Sands”) to prepare an Economic Impact Assessment (“EIA”) and a Fiscal Impact Assessment (“FA”) to describe the anticipated economic and fiscal impacts to Clark County and Southern Nevada. The Performing Arts Center (the “Project”) was being planned for development to the east of the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas and would feature 17,500 seats and was designed specifically for live music performances. Once built, the Project will be the world’s largest venue built specifically for music performances. The Project was anticipated to include 400,000 square feet of development. The Project would become the largest venue of its kind devoted to musical performances and concerts.
Economic impacts are generally concerned with a project’s impacts on jobs, wages and salaries and economic output (business activity). They include direct impacts as well as indirect (i.e., supplier) and induced (i.e., employee spending) impacts. They include the impacts sourced to both the project construction as well as its day-to-day operations. Combining all the various impacts provided a meaningful look at the local jobs, incomes and business activities that are supported directly or indirectly by the Performing Arts Center project.
Fiscal impacts generally refer to public revenues generated as the result of some activity within a host jurisdiction. Nevada imposes a number of taxes on consumers, residents and businesses, including, without limitation, gaming, sales, property, payroll and entertainment taxes. The materiality and applicability of these taxes differ based on the nature and location of an event or activity; however, what is germane to this analysis is that the Company, its employees, its patrons, and its vendors will be expected to generate a substantial amount of tax revenue that will help support basic public services at all levels of government.
Expanding upon the knowledge and experience gained during the earlier iterations of stadium planning for Las Vegas, Hobbs Ong was at the forefront of the effort to bring the multi-purpose and National Football League stadium project to fruition. With the addition of the Oakland Raiders as a potential tenant, and with more refinement with respect to the venue location, the project matured into a viable and realistic venture. The earlier iterations of financial models for a stadium served as the basis for continued analysis and planning for the proposed $1.9 billion covered stadium to both serve as home for the Raiders and to host numerous other sporting and entertainment events. Guy Hobbs provided professional support to the efforts of the development team, affected local governments (primarily Clark County), and the Raiders. Focus of this effort was upon the financial plans for funding and financing the project, and organizational and procedural requirements necessary to permit the project to move forward.
Hobbs Ong was engaged by Boyd Gaming to conduct a series of analyses, including a financial summary of the City of Las Vegas general fund and redevelopment agency fund, an analysis of major tax payments made by the downtown gaming properties to the City of Las Vegas and other units of government, and an analysis of the City of Las Vegas arena funding and financing plan. In addition to the work cited in the prior sentence, Hobbs Ong has also provided continuing analytical support to Boyd Gaming with respect to the City of Las Vegas proposed soccer stadium. With regard to the financial analysis of the City of Las Vegas general and redevelopment agency funds, our work focused upon evaluating the overall financial position of both funds, as well as an analysis of outstanding indebtedness. The analysis of major tax payments focused upon the following revenue sources: Property tax, sales tax, room tax, live entertainment tax, gross gaming revenue, and the modified business tax. Of interest on the part of the downtown gaming properties was their overall contribution to the City of Las Vegas general fund and redevelopment agency fund. Hobbs Ong also performed a thorough financial analysis of the City of Las Vegas proposed downtown arena, finding that the proposed plan was deficient in several material ways. As with the foregoing tasks, these findings were incorporated within a comprehensive report to Boyd Gaming. As was noted, Hobbs Ong has also provided support, as needed, to Boyd Gaming with regard to the changing funding and financing plans for the proposed soccer stadium.
Fast Forward Sports Group (FFSG) owns and operates the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (AA) of the Southern League and the Akron Rubber Ducks (AA) of the Eastern League, and were interested in acquiring the Las Vegas Aviators (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League. FFSG retained the services of Guy Hobbs to help advise them on a strategy to acquire the team and related assets. Services provided included a review of financial materials and strategic guidance throughout the process.
As a part owner of the WTA's Volvo Car Open, held annually in Charleston, South Carolina, Guy Hobbs was involved with elements of planning and expanding the event. This included strategic initiatives related to merchandising, food and beverage and fan appeal of this long-running and popular early season clay court event.
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