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Dec. 7, 2012

Henderson Stadium Developer Wants New Deal; Officials Suspect Fraud

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

International Development Management CEO Chris Milam, the would-be builder of a sprawling sports complex in Henderson, told city officials that he is walking away from his development agreement because of funding problems.  Milam insists that the project is still viable but that he needs a new deal with the city, Vegasinc.com reported.

Milam had delivered the balance of the land’s $10.6 million purchase price to U.S. Bureau of Land Management. On Nov. 29, Henderson City Attorney Josh Reid sent a letter to BLM officials, asking them to cancel the sale of 480 acres of federal land to Silver State Land L.L.C., an entity controlled by Milam, because of suspected fraud. Reid said that Milam has been marketing the property as a potential site for mixed-use or residential projects in conflict with his stated intentions to develop multiple sports facilities.

In an effort to demonstrate his seriousness, Milam responded that he has already invested millions of dollars on consultants’ fees and spent several years attempting to bring sports franchises to the area, according to Vegasinc.com.

As recently as April, Milam informed the Henderson city council that he had secured a $650 million funding commitment from China Security & Surveillance Technology, a Chinese company, for a 17,500-seat arena geared to a National Basketball Association franchise. That venue was to be the vanguard of a complex that would include baseball, football and soccer stadiums.

As Vegasinc.com noted, development of multiple sports venues in a single location is extremely rare, if not unprecedented. Moreover, the major sports leagues have long been reluctant to bring teams to Las Vegas.

Image courtesy of southwest.construction.com