It’s the most exciting year Las Vegas has ever experienced when it comes to sports, and it’s a year of firsts. First, the Oakland Raiders will be making their new home in the valley, making them Las Vegas’ very first professional football team. Secondly, Vegas will host the 2020 NFL Draft this year (April 23-25), their first time hosting the NFL Draft in the city’s history. And finally, Allegiant Stadium, the Raiders’ new $2-billion home, will officially open its doors August 2020, making it Las Vegas’ first football stadium.
NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, said that Las Vegas’ hosting of the NFL draft will essentially serve as the Raiders’ welcome party with the league planning to “incorporate all the iconic features of this city.” Goodell said:
“This city knows how to put on big events, there’s no question about that. You have the infrastructure and it’s Super Bowl ready. You have Allegiant Stadium, which is going to be a world-class stadium that will be our stage ultimately. You have everything here.”
NFL Draft Predicted to Bring Substantial Economic Impact
Jeremy Aguero, a principal analyst with Applied Analysis, says that since Las Vegas has never hosted the NFL Draft before, it’s tough to really say the kind of impact it will have on the local economy. But, when factoring in information from last year’s host city, Nashville, it’s becomes easier to predict an outcome.
According to Aguero, that outcome looks positive. This is largely considering the fact that Vegas is a hot location, and one that’s able to accommodate and entertain the large crowd the NFL Draft will undoubtedly bring:
“When you think about what the draft did in Nashville, about 600,000 people, and you see some of the other markets it’s been in, our expectation is Las Vegas has a good opportunity to beat some of those numbers, and that economic impact would be pretty substantial for the community.
“Not only are we superior to other locations, and I don’t mean that in any derogatory way, but we have more hotel rooms, access is easier here, we have a lot of entertainment options, we’re going to draw people to the event, we believe. And, in addition to that, every visitor that comes to Las Vegas spends more than $800 per person, per trip.”
How Hosting the Super Bowl Could Impact the City
With the Raiders making the move to Las Vegas, it marks the beginning of a shift of seeing Vegas as strictly a “casino town” to becoming a “sports town.” With Sin City the hosting Super Bowl, which the NFL wouldn’t predict to happen for at least the next five years (due to the location of the next four Super Bowl’s already being set), would further drive the economy in substantial ways.
“We think sports gambling in many ways creates a lot more engagement for our fans. It’s another opportunity for them to engage with our game.
What I see now is a city that has emerged from the Strip and primarily a casino-driven town to a city that’s really quite remarkable,” Goodell said. “I think we’ll all be grateful that Mark Davis made the decision to come here.”