Thomas & Mack Center

Michael Hook

ENG 401A

Thomas & Mack Center Profile


For a long time Las Vegas been the entertainment capital of the world. There have been countless acts that have brought their shows to the strip casinos. If one was to look past the strip the Thomas & Mack center has been, and still is, one of the principal venues for entertainment in town. It has had a rich history that started with housing the UNLV basketball team, and also holds many other world class events.

The Thomas & Mack center was named after two prominent Las Vegas bankers E. Parry Thomas and Jerome Mack, who established the original land foundation and donated $500,000 for feasibility studies and the initial architectural renderings. (T&M.2011) The entire project cost about $30 million.

The Thomas & Mack Center was completed in 1983. The grand opening was on December 16, and included performances by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Diana Ross. The Thomas & Mack would be the new permanent home for the UNLV Runnin’ Rebel basketball team, as well as the home to many other sporting events since then. Originally designed for basketball, renovations were quickly put into the plans to make the arena a multipurpose facility to a large array of entertainment events. Some of these events included championship boxing, National Finals Rodeo, the 2007 NBA All Star Game, and Supercross, along with many other sporting events. These sports shows have been popular throughout the years, but the true permanent headliner has always been the Runnin’ Rebels.

The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels basketball team has been the main attraction off of the strip, and because of their great success in the 70’s and 80’s, this stadium was built primarily for them to hold the countless number of fans who couldn’t get tickets to a frequently sold out Las Vegas convention center.

Besides sporting events the Thomas & Mack has held performances by many large acts including; Elton John, U2, Mariah Carey, Eric Clapton, Aerosmith, Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, Linkin Park and Eminem. The largest attendance at a single performance concert was recorded by U2 in 2001 with 17,771 tickets sold.

Besides U2 attracting 17,771 the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels have attracted many fans and have recorded many sellouts, in a stadium that holds 18,776 for basketball. There have been a few sellouts for boxing matches, including a fight between Julio Cesar Chavez and Hector Camacho which sold all 19,566 seats that the stadium holds for boxing events. In the boxing world there was also a bout at the T&M which featured Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield which grossed over $18 million.

The Thomas & Mack Center has long been a staple of what sports in Las Vegas and what UNLV for the most part has turned into, a big time town with big time dreams.



Thomas & Mack. 2011. Thomas & Mack Center History. Retrieved from



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