Today, the Thomas & Mack Center officially celebrates 30 years of award-winning entertainment, guest service and renowned fan experience in Las Vegas as it begins a yearlong celebration of its 30th Anniversary.
“We are excited to share this great Thomas & Mack Center milestone with the Las Vegas community,” said Mike Newcomb, Executive Director of the Thomas & Mack Center. “By catering to both locals and out of town visitor’s, we have provided the city with unprecedented economic impact over our 30 years of hosting special events.”
Thomas & Mack Center kicked off the celebration November 1st, announcing local Las Vegan Ron Mullins as “The Big Ticket Giveaway” winner. Mullins was awarded two tickets to every ticketed event at the Thomas & Mack Center from November 1, 2013 – October 31, 2014. More than 30 confirmed ticketed events were included in “The Big Ticket Giveaway.”
The Thomas & Mack Center continually ranks highly as one of the top grossing venues in the country; ranking #1 as the top grossing University venue for 15,001-30,000 capacity (Jan. 1, 2012 – Dec. 31, 2012). Additionally, Thomas & Mack Center ranked #2 for highest grossing Las Vegas venues (Sept. 1, 2012 – August 31, 2013), as reported by leading event industry publication Venues Today.
The continual success of the venue is attributed to both past employees and the current 82 full time and 1,200 part time employees. Many of these employees have been a part of the Thomas & Mack Center team for over 20 years. The arena is widely recognized for its many “best practices” throughout the sports and entertainment industry.
“Being such a viable venue for 30 years is a testament to all the very talented people who have dedicated their professional lives to the Thomas & Mack Center,” said Newcomb.
In 1983 the Thomas & Mack Center was designed and expanded to become Las Vegas’ first multipurpose arena to bring in revenue to the city. Once built, the facility had two major goals to reach: 100 event days per year and one million guests. Today, the Thomas & Mack Center hosts more than 250 diverse and distinct events annually, with over 22 million guests having passed through its doors. The venue contributes significantly to the overall economic impact of Southern Nevada by providing jobs, generating sales tax, and providing a facility for tourists and locals alike.
“Throughout our 30 years the Thomas & Mack Center has established itself as one of the premier venues in the country. We have always prided ourselves on being a leader in the venue business and not being afraid to step outside the box,” said Newcomb. “Creating our own ticketing company, UNLVtickets, was a big step that not many venues have taken and it has been a great revenue generator for our venue. Operating our own food and beverage also gives us the control and flexibility to generate revenue in concessions and catering.”
On Nov. 21, 1983, the Thomas & Mack Center opened its doors to the public for its very first event when the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels Men’s Basketball team took on Victoria, Canada for the first game on their new home court. The Gala Grand Opening was held on December 16, 1983 and featured Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Diana Ross. Over the past 30 years, the Thomas & Mack Center has hosted some of the most exciting live events in the world such as the National Finals Rodeo, Championship Boxing, PBR World Finals, Disney On Ice, NBA Summer League, USA Basketball, WWE, Mountain West Basketball Tournament, the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, Ringling Bros. & Barnum Bailey Circus, and numerous others. Additionally some of the biggest superstars and super groups have performed at the facility, including Elton John, U2, Mariah Carey, Dixie Chicks, Eric Clapton, Celine Dion, N’SYNC, Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Aerosmith, Phish, Jay-Z, Eminem, and Green Day to name a few.
“The wide array of events we get to be involved with is key to our success and keeps the team motivated. We have had many great highlights but a couple really come to mind,” said Newcomb. “In 2007 we were the first non NBA venue to host the NBA All Star Game, and we were the first US venue to host the PRIDE Fighting Championship group from Japan and held two great events with them in 2006 and 2007.”
The Thomas & Mack Center underwent renovations in 1992 and 2000 with a few recent updates last year. A new rigging grid was put in which increased surface area for the attachment of rigging points adding flexibility for different types of shows and events that Thomas & Mack Center hosts. Additionally, the venue has upgraded its control room to full HD production. This system is primarily for in-house video scoreboard presentations as well as projects that are produced for live and on-demand streaming.
Recently the Nevada state legislature approved $47 million in renovations and upgrades to the arena scheduled to begin in Fall of 2014. It will be a 24 month project working around the venues event schedule. Almost half of the renovation dollars will go to mechanical upgrades to bring the facility up to code and replace the 30-year-old infrastructure. Other updates and additions include ADA improvements, concourse restroom improvements, fire and life safety improvements, replacement of retractable seating, new seats in the plaza, concourse circulation improvements, concourse refurbishment, new escalators at the main entrance, and additional escalators at other entrances.
“We’re continuing to evolve and develop new offerings for our content partners that allow them to create new revenues and build new touch points with consumers,” said Newcomb. “We’ve always focused on improving. In a city like Las Vegas, you’ve got to keep getting better. The team members who came before us set the groundwork, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that the Thomas & Mack Center is a success going forward for another 30 years.”