We’re now only 100 days out from what is planned to be the biggest single event the city of Las Vegas has ever hosted: the 2020 NFL Draft. Official planning is set to get underway for this mega event in Las Vegas, with the Clark County Commission scheduled to reveal those plans in greater detail during their regular Tuesday meeting, according to the agenda.
League officials announced in December 2018 this year’s draft would be held in Las Vegas, coinciding with the Raiders’ first season at Allegiant Stadium. Since then, exact event details, including what venue would serve as host, have not been revealed. The hot topics of discussion have been where the main stage will be, and possible road closures.
Main Stage Contenders
Since the draft announcement, there has been much speculation as to where the draft’s main stage will be. Transportation Reporter for the Las Vegas Review Journal, Mick Akers, shares his insight from Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, talks and trusted sources with Cassie Soto, Sports Anchor and Host for Las Vegas Review Journal:
“The Bellagio Fountain is a possible main stage contender for the draft. Bellagio would be the dream stage that I think a lot of people would be happy to see come to fruition.”
For a while, the Bellagio Fountains as a backdrop seemed more like a rumor that people had doubts as to whether they could pull it off.
Akers mentioned that the Caesars Forum (behind Harrah’s) could also potentially serve as one of the main stages, which wouldn’t be much of a surprise considering that Caesars is the NFL’s first casino partner.
3-Day Strip Closure
If the main stage does end up being the Bellagio, fans should not plan on driving there or really anywhere on Las Vegs Blvd. for the few days surrounds the event.
For the event to be held successfully at the Bellagio, Akers says a 3-day Strip closure will need to be put in place. It would be the longest sustained closure on the Las Vegas Strip, besides the annual New Year’s Eve closures that last several hours for that one day.
With an event of this magnitude, it would be a 20-day time frame to set up and break down properly, which will result in lane reductions. Locals and tourists alike should keep in mind that the NFL Draft will have a multi-week impact on the city.
Transportation plans will be put in place for workers on the Strip, as they’re the lifeblood of operations in the heart of Sin City. Plans will be put in place to keep things rolling, regardless of there being no vehicle traffic on the Strip. It will also be interesting to see how the RTC, Las Vegas’ most profitable public transit company, will handle the event.
The closure would be planned from Harmon to Spring Mountain, a substantial, populated chunk of Las Vegas Blvd. chock-full of major resorts and restaurants.
Other Sites to Get Draft Action
As far as other sites that will likely get in on the draft action, there are several. Goodell mentioned talks of the High Roller, the Strat, and the famed “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. Some Las Vegas icons on the Strip, perhaps even Celine Dion, could be recruited for draft action.
With an estimated 400,000 people coming to Las Vegas strictly for the NFL Draft, the city will make sure to have a plan of strategy in place to handle the volume. Being that Las Vegas in no stranger to major events and hundreds of thousands of tourists being in the city on any given day, we’re confident that Las Vegas serving as the 2020 NFL Draft host will be a wild success.