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Hafen: Milam's sports center dead

Lawsuit expected in the fallout of projected $1.4 billion project collapse

Developer Christopher Milam addressed the Henderson City Council in April, expressing hope that ground could break on the Las Vegas National Sports Center by late 2012. The city filed a lawsuit again Milam Jan. 28, claiming fraud. photo by Buford Davis.
January 29, 2013
Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen confirmed what has been assumed for nearly two months; plans for the Las Vegas National Sports Complex as envisioned by developer Christopher Milam will never come to fruition.

"Yeah…it's dead," Hafen said Jan. 26 during a campaign appearance on the Veterans in Politics radio show, shortly before the city filed a lawsuit against Milam and four associates, including public relations representative Lee Haney.

The lawsuit, filed Jan. 28, claims Milam schemed to obtain 485 acres of land south of the M Resort and Casino at a below market cost and use it or sell it for commercial development.

"Milam believed that his fraudulent scheme would at all times remain unknown to the City," the suit states.

Milam completed the $8.4 million option to purchase the land Nov. 26, and sent a letter to City Manager Jacob Snow the same day stating his intent to effectively terminate the project agreement.

In response to Milam's move, City Attorney Josh Reid sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management, who owns the land rights, urgently appealing for a stop to the transaction.

"The City believes that the transaction may not be valid and appears to be tainted by fraudulent representation by Christopher Milam, his agents and his entities," wrote Reid.

"No matter what happens, we have a lot of control of the situation," said Communications director Bud Cranor in December. "Whatever that property is to be used for, we control the zoning."

The LVNSC was planned to contain venues for franchises from the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer.

City leaders had expressed cautious optimism about the project, which could have been a much needed boon for the local economy, estimated to have the potential to create around 10,000 jobs through build-out.

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