Grand Sierra Resort (GSR) in Reno, Nevada has announced plans for a $1bn (£820m/€949m) investment project that will include a new multi-purpose arena with a capacity of more than 10,000.
GSR, which already features a 100,000-square-foot casino, nearly 2,000 hotel rooms and suites, and other entertainment offerings, said the project will mark the largest private capital investment in the history of Reno.
The arena would be capable of hosting basketball games and other sports, as well as concerts and special events. The arena, which GSR said will exceed 10,000 capacity, will span approximately 300,000 square feet and offer contemporary amenities, including suites and hospitality clubs.
Upon completion, the arena could serve as the home of the University of Nevada, Reno’s men’s basketball team. The university will explore the opportunity to partner with GSR owner Alex Meruelo on the project and would lease the arena from GSR.
Brian Sandoval, president of the University of Nevada, Reno, said: “The University of Nevada, Reno is excited to explore the opportunity to partner with Alex Meruelo and Grand Sierra Resort as they develop a state-of-the-art arena and entertainment district that is unprecedented in Northern Nevada. The new arena will include amenities that create a fan and game experience that are second to none.”
The arena is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2026. The university’s men’s basketball team will play the 2026-27 or 2027-28 season at the arena, pending Board of Regents approval. The women’s basketball team is set to remain at Lawlor Events Center.
As well as the arena, the plans include a “beautification” of Grand Bay, including the creation of an active golf facility and entertainment destination, a walking path and a water show. There are also plans for an 800-room hotel tower, and one or more parking garages.
GSR said the project will include the creation and construction of around 300 affordable riverfront residential units.
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve said: “This is an incredible and historic investment by Mr. Meruelo and a true game changer for our community. It’s a massive win for our citizens, a win for the University of Nevada and a win for tourism. Thank you Mr. Meruelo for your vision and faith in our great community.”
Meruelo added: “The precipice of an extraordinary transformation is upon us. This will not only redefine Grand Sierra Resort but also elevate Reno to new heights in the realm of entertainment and sports. We recognise and value the community’s support and enthusiasm as we commence this journey together.”
Meruelo also owns the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, with the team planning on building a new arena of its own in Mesa.