Why a Dallas firm with a famous name cares if Las Vegas keeps its pro baseball team

The Howard Hughes Corp., the Dallas real estate development firm with a famous namesake and a track record of large-scale projects around the country, will construct a $150 million minor league baseball stadium in a massive mixed-use development it built just outside Las Vegas.

Howard Hughes Corp., which bought the Las Vegas 51s triple A team earlier this year, announced its plan for a 10,000-seat open-air stadium Wednesday, a day after the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority approved an $80 million naming rights deal. The stadium will be known as Las Vegas Ballpark.

The ballpark will be built on eight acres in Summerlin, an affluent master planned community that Howard Hughes has been building since 1990. It spans more than 22,000 acres and now has 100,000 residents living there.

Sports venue architecture firm HOK will design the stadium, which is expected to be completed in 2019. HOK designed the recently opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Las Vegas’ visitors authority board spent more than 90 minutes Tuesday debating the naming rights deal that would involve $4 million annual payments from 2019 to 2038, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The board voted 8-2 to approve the 20-year agreement.

"We have worked tirelessly to bring this much needed initiative to fruition for the benefit and enjoyment of the entire Southern Nevada community," said Howard Hughes CEO David R. Weinreb in a statement. "The ballpark will … give valley residents a first-class amenity and the opportunity to enjoy professional baseball in an inviting and family-friendly environment."

(Howard Hughes Corp.)

The move to Summerlin is expected to increase the fan base for the team that has called Las Vegas home for three decades, said Don Logan, president and chief operations officer of the 51s.

Summerlin’s downtown area where the new stadium is planned also is home to an arena that serves as the practice facility for Las Vegas’ National Hockey League team.

Howard Hughes Corp. traces its history back to the father of legendary businessman Howard Hughes Jr., the eccentric and reclusive billionaire who died in a plane crash in 1976. Howard Hughes Sr. founded an oil drilling tool business in 1913 and his son later diversified into real estate development.

After being bought by real estate giant, The Rouse Co., in 1996, the company was sold to shopping center developer General Growth Properties and spun off in 2010.

Since then, Howard Hughes Corp. has undertaken large real estate projects in 14 states, such as the Summerlin development and the South Street Seaport in Manhattan. The company announced a deal earlier this week in which ESPN will open its first New York City studio in the seaport’s Pier 17 entertainment and shopping area.

Howard Hughes Corp. recently signed ESPN to open its first New York City studio in South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 in Manhattan.

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