Site of Mass Shooting in Vegas Designated for Sports, Community Center
18 Sep, 2019By: Michael Popke
But as Might be Expected, Not Everyone is in Favor
As the two-year anniversary of the deadliest shooting in modern United States history approaches — Oct. 1, 2017, at the Las Vegas Village and Route 91 Harvest Music Festival site — officials with MGM Resorts International announced plans to convert the space into a sports and community center that also will include parking for NFL and NCAA football games.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the 15-acre parcel on the Las Vegas Strip will be split, with the north end of the property housing an indoor sports facility and community gathering space. The south end will be designated for parking during Las Vegas Raiders and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, football games and other events held at nearby Allegiant Stadium.
A total of 58 people were killed on the closing night of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival after Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Paddock later killed himself in his hotel suite. No motive was ever determined.
Here is the statement issued on Sept. 3 by MGM Resorts International regarding its plans:
We know that for many, the Village property will forever be linked to the tragic loss of life that took place there on October 1st. We will never forget the victims, and all of those impacted by that evening. As the second anniversary nears, we remain committed to being part of the community effort to continue healing and moving forward.
In this spirit, MGM Resorts plans to build a community and athletic center on the north end of the property, which will be home to sporting events and community gatherings. We hope one day it will host high school basketball tournaments, indoor soccer for kids and provide a place for the [Las Vegas] Aces [professional women’s basketball team] to practice and engage with the community to inspire the next generation of female athletes.
It was important to us that the long-term use of the property include the community in some way. We also plan to create a space on the property to remember the victims of the tragedy.
In the near term, while these plans are underway, the property will revert back from festival grounds to a parking area and will serve as parking during games and concerts taking place at Allegiant Stadium. Over the coming weeks and months, there will be construction activity near the property to ensure the safety of pedestrians crossing the street toward the stadium.
We will share plans for the community and athletic center as they advance. We will also support the future community effort around a permanent, public memorial when that process begins.
At least one survivor of the shooting isn’t happy with MGM Resorts’ decision, telling ABC Newsthat the site “needs to be the official healing garden, it needs to be a memorial for us.”
She also has a message for people who plan to park at the site when it opens: “Hear my story, and let me know how you feel about parking your car there.”