On Wednesday the last beam was set in place on the MGM – AEG Arena on the Las Vegas Strip. Ground was broken on May 1, 2014 and the 20,000 seat venue is now scheduled to open April 1, 2016. The arena is owned by the Las Vegas Arena Company, a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and AEG Live, and will be operated by MGM with AEG as sales agent.

Access to the state-of-the-art multipurpose event center will be through a promenade connecting New York-New York and Monte Carlo casinos. There will also be 2 dedicated VIP entrances. Every major event “under the sun” will be held there day and night, like a modern Coliseum. The arena itself will host the biggest names in entertainment for as many as 20,000 UFC/boxing fans at a time. Hockey games  will host up to 17,500 – basketball up to 18,800, and depending upon stage configuration concerts will entertain anywhere from 12,000 to 19,600 fans.

Premium hospitality is also being built-in with 42 suites, 26 loge/opera boxes, 14 club terrace tables, 1,600 club seats, 250 entry level club seats, 2 party suites/sponsor decks, 8 event level suites, and 2 sponsor tower clubs.

The project is expected to cost some $375 million to complete and the arena will have a footprint of 650,000 square feet on 16 acres. This is MGM’s third arena in Las Vegas and by far the largest. The MGM Grand Garden will accomodate about 15,000 and the Mandalay Bay Events Center can hold around 12,000. Although the arena will be sports-ready for a pro hockey or basketball team, the company says they don’t need one for the project to be economically viable.