Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Pac-12 announces creation of Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge presented by MGM Resorts International - Pac-12.com

Pac-12 announces creation of Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge presented by MGM Resorts International - Pac-12.com


Pac-12 announces creation of Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge presented by MGM Resorts International - Pac-12.com

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 10:15 AM PDT

Inaugural 2020 event to feature marquee matchups against Big 12 opponents at T-Mobile Arena

SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Conference announced today the creation of the Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge presented by MGM Resorts International, a men's basketball non-conference scheduling series, in partnership with the Oak View Group (OVG), Basketball Promotions & Events (BPE) and T-Mobile Arena.

The annual Challenge is slated to begin in December 2020 with three Pac-12 men's basketball programs facing three non-league opponents in T-Mobile Arena, followed by a rotation of Pac-12 programs into the Las Vegas facility and to neutral-site venues in marquee markets around the nation in subsequent seasons.

COLORADO will battle TCU, WASHINGTON will face Oklahoma, and OREGON will take on a to-be-determined Big 12 opponent at T-Mobile Arena in the inaugural matchups in 2020, with anticipated return games at American Airlines Center in Dallas in 2021.

ARIZONA, ARIZONA STATE and USC are committed to open Challenge play in Las Vegas in 2021, with return games in the New York City Metro area to occur in 2022, against opponents from a to-be-announced power conference.

"This first-of-its-kind conference Challenge will serve as a great opportunity for our Pac-12 schools to showcase their men's basketball brands in high-profile, priority markets around the country against elite peer-conference competition, while also providing additional quality non-conference scheduling opportunities," said Jamie Zaninovich, Pac-12 Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer in charge of men's basketball. "We're thrilled to work with OVG and BPE in bringing this event to fruition in an effort to enhance the Pac-12's basketball brand nationally, and to continue to expand our strong relationship with MGM Resorts, T-Mobile Arena and Las Vegas."

"We are very pleased to partner with the Pac-12 in this unique basketball challenge around the country," said Dan Shell, President of OVG Collegiate. "These partnerships become successful due to the people behind them, and we are delighted to team with the Conference, BPE, MGM Resorts, and the other participating arenas to make this event just that."

George Kliavkoff, president of Entertainment & Sports, MGM Resorts, said, "We look forward to partnering with the Pac-12 Conference once again and the OVG Collegiate team for the first time on this new multi-year event. As longtime partners of the Pac-12, we are extremely familiar with the caliber of event they produce and have no doubt the annual Coast-to-Coast Challenge will be a marquee college basketball event fans will look forward to attending at T-Mobile Arena."

The event's dual-site rotation will continue into 2023 with an anticipated finish at an OVG Arena Alliance venue in 2024.

Additional matchups and event details, including game dates, times and television for the initial December 2020 contests, will be announced at a later date.

About the Pac-12 Conference

The Conference has a tradition as the "Conference of Champions," leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 53 of the last 59 years, with 526 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities - the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University. For more information on the Conference's programs, member institutions, and Commissioner Larry Scott, go to Pac-12.com/conference.

About Oak View Group

Oak View Group was founded in 2015 by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff to be a positive disruption in sports and entertainment. The company currently has offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York City, and London. OVG's business divisions include OVG Business Development, OVG Global Partnerships, OVG Collegiate, OVG Media and Conferences, OVG Facilities, Prevent Advisors, and the Arena and Stadium Alliance, which is a select group of top U.S. venues. OVG has recently been awarded the right to construct a world-class arena on the University of Texas Austin's campus.

About Basketball Promotions & Events

Basketball Promotions & Events and its president Chris Spencer have been organizing and operating college basketball events since 1995.  During this span BPE has coordinated more than 150 tournaments including the first multi-team event (MTE) in the City of Las Vegas in 2000.

About MGM Resorts International

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is an S&P 500® global entertainment company with national and international locations featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings. MGM Resorts creates immersive, iconic experiences through its suite of Las Vegas-inspired brands. The MGM Resorts portfolio encompasses 30 unique hotel and destination gaming offerings including some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry. Expanding throughout the U.S. and around the world, the company recently acquired the operations of Empire City Casino in New York and MGM Northfield Park. In 2018, MGM Resorts opened MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, MGM COTAI in Macau, and the first Bellagio-branded hotel in Shanghai. The 82,000 global employees of MGM Resorts are proud of their company for being recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies®. For more information visit us at www.mgmresorts.com.

Blackstone Group no stranger to high-profile real estate deals - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Posted: 20 Sep 2019 12:00 AM PDT

After the real estate market crashed, The Blackstone Group was one of many investors to swoop in and buy cheap Las Vegas houses to turn into rentals.

Today, with the economy on strong footing, the New York financial giant is said to be eyeing a more high-profile deal: the purchase of MGM Resorts International's two biggest moneymakers on the Strip.

Bloomberg reported this week that Blackstone is in advanced talks to buy and lease back Bellagio and the MGM Grand. Terms could not be determined.

The MGM Grand and Bellagio were the top two generators of operating income among MGM's Las Vegas properties last year, pumping out nearly $710 million combined, a securities filing shows.

Blackstone and MGM declined to comment for this column.

If a deal were finalized — like any transaction, it could always fall apart — it would be the latest acquisition in Las Vegas for a company that has been gobbling up real estate here, a buying spree that has fueled, mirrored and capitalized on the market's long road back from near-annihilation.

Blackstone, led by billionaire Stephen Schwarzman, bought tens of thousands of houses around the country to rent out after the economy tanked. Las Vegas was ground zero for America's housing bust, and investors like Blackstone were buying in bulk when others couldn't buy at all. Locally, the purchases pulled home prices out of the gutter so fast it sparked fears of another bubble.

Blackstone launched Invitation Homes in 2012 for the buy-and-rent venture. Invitation owned more than 900 homes in the Las Vegas area by the end of 2016, not long before its initial public offering, and nearly 3,000 by the end of June, securities filings show.

Outside of housing, Blackstone bought the 68-acre Hughes Center for $347 million in 2013, acquiring a sprawling office park in a region whose office market was clobbered harder by the recession than other areas of commercial real estate.

It picked up The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for more than $1.7 billion in 2014, buying a trendy 3,000-room hotel-casino that was deeply in the red at the time.

It also bought downtown's 5.4 million-square-foot World Market Center for an undisclosed sum in 2017, taking control of a massive furniture-showroom hall that, like countless other projects in the valley, ran into steep financial problems after the economy imploded.

On top of all that, Blackstone has been one of the bigger buyers in one of Las Vegas' most heated real estate sectors, shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars for apartments over the past few years.

All told, Blackstone has spent a fortune on Las Vegas real estate, and even if the MGM deal fizzles, don't be surprised if it buys more.

Blackstone announced this month that it closed a $20.5 billion global real estate fund — the biggest ever raised.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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