Hockey in an arena built on a roof... of a casino. Yes, we’re talking about Las Vegas.
The ECHL minor-league Las Vegas Wranglers plan to spend $4 million to build a 3,500-seat venue on the roof of the Plaza Hotel and Casino, a 1,000-room hotel about five miles north of the Las Vegas strip and across the street from the Fremont Street Experience.
After the 11-year-old team, which draws about 4,600 per game according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, failed to extend their lease at Orleans Arena they opted to look at new options for hosting their 36 home games each fall and winter. The team is generally known for its wild promotions and midnight games so having an arena built on the roof of a casino suits the somewhat eccentric franchise quite well.
Vision Building Systems will construct a 45,000-square-foot metal structure wrapped in fabric atop the roof, which was once a parking garage and can handle weight of the venue, by November 2014. The team plans to rent out the arena during off-times throughout the hockey season to increase revenue, but it won’t keep the ice in place during the Vegas summer... likely for obvious reasons. Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.