RENO — The College of Nevada’s basketball group might have a brand new off-campus house by 2026 underneath an formidable 10-year growth plan that Reno’s largest hotel-casino introduced Wednesday.
The estimated $1 billion personal capital funding would be the greatest within the metropolis’s historical past, in line with officers of the Grand Sierra Resort and Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve.
Along with the brand new 10,000-seat sports activities, live performance and particular occasions enviornment, the growth plans for the 140-acre property embrace a brand new 800-room resort tower, 300 “inexpensive” riverfront residential models to assist handle workforce housing shortages, a golf middle and Las Vegas-like water reveals along with different upgrades, the corporate stated.
“The imaginative and prescient is to rework GSR right into a vacation spot the place neighborhood, sports activities and leisure come collectively,” resort proprietor Alex Mereulo, who additionally is almost all proprietor of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, stated throughout a information convention Wednesday.
Mereulo and College of Nevada President Brian Sandoval confirmed they’ve been exploring a partnership for a while between the resort and the basketball group, “which might make the world their house starting with the autumn 2026 season.”
They stated no public cash shall be concerned within the financing.
“The funding shall be not less than $1 billion,” Mereulo advised a crowd of greater than 100 on the formal announcement Wednesday in a nightclub simply off the on line casino ground as a dozen Nevada cheerleaders cheered. “This would be the house of the Wolf Pack.”
The brand new enviornment would cowl roughly 300,000 sq. ft (27,871 sq. meters), together with suites and premium hospitality golf equipment. A rendering of the world indicated it could be constructed within the parking zone of the present hotel-casino.
Sandoval, a 1986 Nevada graduate who served two phrases as governor earlier than he was appointed college president in 2020, stated the college is “excited to discover the chance to associate with Alex Mereulo and Grand Sierra Resort as they develop a state-of-the-art enviornment and leisure district that’s unprecedented in Northern Nevada.”
“It can create what I feel is the best sports activities venue within the nation,” Sandoval stated.
In an interview with the AP previous to the information convention, Sandoval mirrored on how school sports activities have modified: When he was a scholar, on line casino promoting was prohibited at sports activities venues, even in Nevada, the place playing has lengthy been authorized.
“I feel there’s been a recognition that sports activities betting has proliferated all through the nation and that it’s regulated strictly and appropriately, and you’ll have this stability between the gaming business and school sports activities,” he stated.
Nevada basketball coach Steve Alford advised the gang the world would have a big impact on recruiting.
“Now, as we get into a brand new period of basketball and the way we go about doing our enterprise, with the NIL (Title Picture Likeness), with the switch portal, to have the ability to promote this on high of our neighborhood, on high of our college, it simply places us at an entire ‘nother degree. It’s an entire ‘nother scholar athlete that we’re going to have the ability to get into properties and speak to,” Alford stated.
Nevada Athletic Director Stephanie Rempe advised reporters loads of work already has been put into inspecting the partnership and one of many subsequent steps shall be to transient the state Board of Regents, which must log out on any ultimate settlement. However she stated she’s assured the deal will come collectively.
“Do I feel it’s going to occur? Completely,” Rempe stated. “However we are able to’t get forward of ourselves within the course of. We’d like to ensure all of the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed and the fitting individuals who make ultimate choices concerning the college are properly versed and supportive. And we’ll proceed to see how that performs out.”
Nevada, of the Mountain West Convention, has performed its video games on campus on the 11,500-seat Lawlor Occasions Heart for the reason that middle opened in 1983. Earlier than that, the Wolf Pack performed in a conference middle south of downtown.
The two,000-room resort, situated alongside Interstate 80 a pair miles from the principle downtown on line casino drag, boasted the biggest on line casino ground in North America when it opened because the MGM in 1978. It later flew underneath the banners of Bally’s and the Reno Hilton. It’s been the Grand Sierra Resort since 2006, and underneath management of Mereulo’s present possession group since 2011.
Schieve stated the historic funding can be a “true sport changer for our neighborhood … a large win for our residents, a win for the College of Nevada and a win for tourism.”
The funding can be the most important in a Reno on line casino property for the reason that Silver Legacy, at an estimated price of $230 million, opened in 1995. A shopping center challenge that’s partly opened and stays within the works has an estimated price ticket of $600 million.
Final yr, Las Vegas hosted Candy 16 video games for the NCAA basketball match at T-Cellular Area on the Strip. However earlier than that, the NCAA Event had averted Nevada altogether as a result of sports activities playing is authorized right here. The governing physique for collegiate athletics even had a coverage prohibiting its championship occasions from being performed in Nevada.
With authorized sports activities betting spreading throughout the nation, the NCAA now has no qualms about crowning its champions in Las Vegas. Others embrace hockey’s Frozen 4 in 2026 and the Closing 4 in 2028.