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OVG appoints Badain, Morton to lead Las Vegas arena project

Oak View Group, the global venue development, advisory and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries, has hired Marc Badain and Randy Morton to lead its planned retail and entertainment district in Las Vegas that will have a $1bn (£825m/€961m) arena as its focal point.

Badain (bottom of picture) is the former president of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders and has been named president of OVG’s Las Vegas sports and entertainment venues. Morton (top of picture), a seasoned casino and resort executive, will be president of OVG’s Las Vegas hotel and casino.

The pair will be responsible for overseeing the development of building an integrated NBA-ready arena and resort in Las Vegas and will work for the joint venture of partners of the project. Patrick Crockett has also joined as hotel-casino financial consultant and will report to Badain and Morton.

OVG announced details of its Las Vegas project – its biggest to date – back in March. The wide-ranging retail and entertainment district will be located south of the Las Vegas Strip and will include a 20,000-seat arena, casino, hotel and additional entertainment amphitheatre.

OVG intends to break ground on the privately financed project next year, with a view to completion in 2026. The arena will be capable of hosting sporting events, concerts, family entertainment, conventions, large meetings, international events, award shows and exhibitions.

The district is being designed by architecture firms Gensler and Populous. The latter firm was also responsible for T-Mobile Arena, the home of NHL ice hockey team Vegas Golden Knights which opened in April 2016.

Badain had already partnered with OVG to lead and consult on the arena project but he has now taken on a permanent role with the company. There is currently no anchor sports team connected to the planned arena, but Las Vegas has been strongly linked to an NBA franchise in the past and OVG chief executive Tim Leiweke has said this opportunity would be of interest.

Following the appointments of Badain and Morton, Leiweke said: “Our Las Vegas project represents a critical first step for OVG in seamlessly integrating the greatest in new and innovative hotel and casino offerings with the best in arena development and live entertainment. This unprecedented project is an industry game-changer, but to do it right, that means putting the best team in place.”

Morton formerly served as president and chief operating officer of Bellagio Resort & Casino and most recently worked as co-chief executive of the Foley Entertainment Group. Badain stepped down as Raiders president in July last year after overseeing the team’s move from Oakland to Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Francesca Bodie, president of business development at OVG, added: “Marc, Randy, and Patrick’s leadership, robust experience, and proven track records will be instrumental in helping bring our vision to life. Each understands what it takes to develop, build, and open a world-class entertainment destination and we couldn’t be more delighted to welcome them aboard.”

OVG’s most recent opening was Moody Center, a new 15,000-seat arena for the University of Texas at Austin. Last week, OVG officially commenced work on the $200m redevelopment of Baltimore Arena.

Main image: Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash