The Killers Open Las Vegas' New T-Mobile Arena

Jimmy Im

The hometown favorites and Wayne Newton break the seal on the $375 million venue.

MGM Resorts International’s highly anticipated T-Mobile Arena officially opened on Wednesday with Las Vegans The Killers and Wayne Newton christening the new $375 million venue.

Earlier on Wednesday, MGM Resorts International CEO-chairman Jim Murren, AEG Worldwide CEO Dan Beckerman, T-Mobile CMO Andrew Sherrard and Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers, attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony and all talked about the impact the gleaming new arena will have on the city.

“In Las Vegas, we set the bar pretty high for entertainment,” Murren told The Hollywood Reporter. “For T-Mobile Arena, we spent a lot of time on developing the content. There are a lot of arenas in the world, and we wanted to do something new. T-Mobile Arena has the best possible sight lines, whether for a concert or a game, which is critical, as well as leading acoustics."

With 20,0000 seats, T-Mobile Arena is a stand-alone venue with a solid LED panel and glass exterior. Unlike other arenas, the arena has a 200-foot-wide video screen, sweeping balconies, three outdoor stages for pre-concert festivities and SBE Entertainment Group’s Hyde Lounge, a nightclub within the venue. In exclusive partnership with AEG, the venue has announced concerts for the month of April, including top acts like The Killers, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood and Guns & Roses. The arena will also serve as the premier venue for NHL hockey (starting with the Los Angeles Kings in October), UFC 200 and more.

“If you look at the entertainment landscape today, it’s changed,” Beckerman told THR, “particularly venues combining sports and music. Our business model of entertainment destinations is like LA Live, though a venue of this size with technologic amenities and hospitality opportunities is really something we haven’t seen in this market before. Award shows are going to look to the arena to be their home, and performers are going to come here as a must-play venue.”

Costas Charalambous, SBE’s president of nightlife, told THR: “We've become experts at creating forward-thinking developments and being a part of shifting the landscape of nightlife venues for some time now. Our team is incredibly excited for our loyal and new consumers to experience Hyde Lounge, one of the largest and most disruptive large-scale viewing destinations."

At 18,000 square feet, Hyde Lounge at T-Mobile Arena is three times the size of Hyde Lounge at Staples Center in Los Angeles and American Airlines Arena in Miami.

In addition to T-Mobile Arena, MGM Resorts International also opened The Park this past Monday. The outdoor “park” next to New York New York resort is the first of its kind on the Las Vegas strip. Paying tribute to the native surroundings, The Park is a microcosm of the Mojave desert with locally sourced stone, water walls with cooling effects, native flora, outdoor tables, dance performers and 16 exclusively designed shade structures that represent trees in the desert.

“All great cities have gathering places, whether parks or plazas,” said Murren. “We wanted to make sure Las Vegas continued to evolve, and also share the indigenous beauty of the desert we call home.”

The Park is designed to invoke the natural spirit and intrigue of the desert while existing peacefully with world-class resorts. The family-friendly park is anchored by a 40-foot sculpture, Bliss Dance, which made its debut at Burning Man in 2010. With 3,000 LED lights that change in color at night, the sculpture is now a permanent exhibit at The Park.

Slated to open this fall, The Park will feature a 5,000-seat, open-air theater. The venue will house smaller-scale live events and performances including concerts, theater and comedians, though acts have not yet been announced.

“We’re looking at a wide array of demographics that appeal to a broad audience, and they will be A-list acts,” said Murren.

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