Los Angeles-based AEG and Harrah's Entertainment have entered into a partnership to develop an approximately 20,000-seat arena that will sit one block east of the Las Vegas Strip.

Scheduled for a 2010 completion date, the privately financed arena will encompass approximately 10 acres of land that is part of the current Harrah's land holdings. The location is situated directly behind the Bally's and Paris resorts. The project is likely to cost as much as $500 million, sources tell Billboard.biz.

The arena will be constructed and configured capable for housing a National Basketball Association or National Hockey League franchise, but an anchor tenant hasn't been named. Published reports have suggested that film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer has his eyes set on Las Vegas for a potential NHL franchise. Sources say AEG is in talks with a specific hockey group, but declined to give specific details.

As managing partner, global sports and entertainment presenter AEG will assist in developing and programming events at the venue, including concerts, boxing matches, awards presentations, sporting events and other special events.

If everything goes as planned, construction on the arena will begin next summer.

AEG Live, the concert promotion arm of AEG, already has a strong presence in Las Vegas, overseeing programming at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The promotion company also recently entered into an agreement to operate and program new 4,000 and 1,500-seat indoor venues at Echelon Place, which are currently under construction on the Strip.

Earlier this year, AEG Live inked a deal to be the exclusive booker and promoter for live entertainment at the Joint, located inside Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The pact is with the Morgans Hotel Group, which owns the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Along venues booked by AEG Live, the Las Vegas market is already home such larger facilities as the MGM Grand Garden Area, Orleans Arena and the Thomas & Mack Center, among others.

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