Las Vegas Will Have to Wait to Host Biggest NFL Draft Party

Bellagio Fountains2020 was set up to be a big year for Las Vegas. The town, which has always been popularly known as the gaming and entertainment capital of the world, was going to finally establish itself as the sports capital of the world.

That’s huge for Las Vegas. Just a few years ago, the city got its first-ever professional sports team with the National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights (VGK). VGK in their debut season made it all the way to the Stanley Cup, coming in second to the Washington Nationals.

The creation of Vegas’ own professional hockey team initiated the city’s path down to becoming a serious sport’s destination, one deserving of respect. That was further cemented at the top of this year when the Oakland Raiders officially became the Las Vegas Raiders.

Allegiant Stadium, the new $2 billion-dollar home stadium for the Raiders, is close to completing its near two-year construction at the end of July.

But outside of the city’s two new professional sport’s teams, there’s been a proliferation of boxing, MMA, rodeo, golf, racing, and NCAA among other major sporting events. That’s more than enough to say Vegas has transitioned itself to become the US’ new sports Mecca.

As if Vegas getting its first-ever professional football team wasn’t exciting enough, the city was named host of the 2020 NFL Draft for the first time ever, too. This was going to be the ideal way to announce the Las Vegas Raiders to the rest of the world.

However, that dream got cut short this year with the coronavirus pandemic going on. Instead of Las Vegas hosting the 2020 NFL Draft, it’s become a virtual-only event. With more people self-isolating at home, it’s actually broke records for becoming the most-watched draft in history.

Las Vegas Announced as 2022 NFL Draft Host

But while Vegas won’t get to throw the biggest party in the NFL Draft this year, fear not. It was recently announced that they will be the host city of the 2022 draft.

That’s certainly something to look forward to, and may even come as better timing as by then, we’ll get to see how a couple of seasons of the Las Vegas Raiders look like in the game.

The National Football League made the announcement on Thursday night, during the start of the 2020 NFL Draft.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell mistakenly made a small flub when he announced that Las Vegas would host the current 2020 draft, but swiftly corrected the statement to reflect the actual 2022 date.

Big Plans Were Put into Place for 2020 Vegas-Style Draft

Never one to be outdone, the party capital of the world had spectacular plans set into place for the 2020 NFL Draft.

One of the most impressive plans was a stage built along the Bellagio Fountains, for a red carpet-reveal of draft perspectives. Prospective players would have arrived at the stage by boat, making for an ‘only Vegas’ style entrance like never seen before.

Outside of that impressive stage, concerts and celebrations with high-profile celebrities were going to be scattered all throughout Draft week to make it an event Las Vegas and the rest of the world wouldn’t soon forget.

Luckily, plans for the 2022 NFL Draft will seemingly include many of the plans that were set for this year. The main stage will still be held at the Caesars Forum Convention Center, and the Bellagio Fountains talks are still in the works.

More announcements on the specifics of the event will be made in the upcoming months, so stay tuned for that.

All is Not Lost

But, these plans aren’t lost, except for in the meantime. Las Vegas will be ready to show itself in 2022, according to Goodell, who hopes the world will return to normal by then.

But, even it doesn’t, Las Vegas will make the splash it’s been destined to make in the sport’s world soon enough.

According to Chris Baldizan, senior vice president of entertainment and marketing for MGM Resorts, while the city is “extremely disappointed” for the project to not happen in Vegas this year, the publicly televised announcement for 2022 gives the city hope for what’s to come once we all get through this pandemic.

Baldizan has faith that the city will get through it and is happy that the NFL has this much confidence in Las Vegas to come back stronger in 2022.

Las Vegas Announced as Host for 2022 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Digital LogoThe anticipation for Las Vegas to host the NFL Draft for the very first time in history was huge among the local community and tourists anxious to see their favorite town host a major sports event.

But unfortunately, Las Vegas didn’t get a chance to properly host the NFL Draft this year with the global coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to the city and much of the sport’s world for that matter.

Instead, Vegas will get to host the highly-anticipated yearly event in the near future.

The National Football League announced on Thursday night that Las Vegas will host the 2020 NFL Draft. This announcement was made during the draft’s current installment, which is being held as a fully virtual event.

Commissioner Roger Goodell mistakenly made a small flub during the announcement, when he said that Las Vegas would host the 2020 draft, but quickly cleared up the statement to reflect the 2022 date.

“Congratulations to Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the Raiders’ organization and Raider Nation,” Goodell said.

Main Stage and Setup Plans for 2022 Draft

Some of the setup plans that were approved for what would have been the 2020 Draft in Vegas will seemingly carry over to 2022.

That includes the main stage of the NFL Draft being built adjacent to the Caesar’s Forum Conference Center, which will sit pretty next to the High Roller observation wheel.

The main stage will also host the Selection Square.

Talks are still in place of a red carpet being unveiled on the Fountains of Bellagio, which will make for the most picturesque and dramatic scene of the Draft. Prospects would be ferried to-and-from the stage via a boat.

In addition to the annual draft event, a three-day NFL Draft Experience will be available at the NFL Draft main stage. The free, football-themed festival event will feature games, autograph sessions, and giveaways.

Steve Hill, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says the city, while disappointed about being unable to bring the “exciting event to life this year,” is thrilled to be given the opportunity to host the 2022 NFL Draft.

Hill says they plan on making the 87th annual NFL Draft an ‘only Vegas’ experience that football fans will “never forget.”

More plans for the 2022 draft will be announced in the coming months, so be sure to stay tuned for those exciting announcements.

2020 NFL Draft Goes Virtual

With sports being on a global hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL came up with the best next solution for the 2020 NFL Draft: Going virtual.

And fans are here for it.

The 2020 NFL Draft kicked off on Thursday night, and sports fans took to social media to share their excitement over the first round of picks.

Goodell even got in on the action by making a TikTok video to Drake’s “Tootsie Slide” with former Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. Consider it the virtual equivalent to draftees giving the commissioner a customary hug.

Jeudy went off the board to No. 15 overall to the Denver Broncos during Thursday night’s NFL Draft picks.

Raiders 2020 NFL Draft Promising Picks

The Las Vegas Raiders got probably the most exciting addition to their team thus far by selecting Henry Ruggs III. Ruggs is measured as the fastest player in the NFL Draft.

His addition will make for an already impressive Raiders offense that includes Josh Jacobs, Tyrell Williams, Trent Brown, Hunter Renfrow, Rodney Hudson, Darren Waller, and Derek Carr.

The Raiders also acquired Damon Arnette, a promising cornerback who saw his draft stock climb in the days leading up to the draft. While Arnette played with a broken wrist all last season, he also earned All-Big-10 honors during his senior season.

2020 NFL Draft Plans Will Be Released Tuesday: Main Stage & Strip Closures

The Bellagio Fountains Rising During the DayWe’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.

NFL Enthusiastic About Vegas Hosting A Future Super Bowl

Raider's Football Player Catching Ball on Football Field, Raider's LogoIt’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.

Las Vegas hosting the Super Bowl could successfully marry the elements of what the city has been known for, gambling, with the valley’s newly infused sports culture in major 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.”

DraftKings Is Now the Official DFS Partner of the NFL

One of the largest daily fantasy sports companies in the world just secured a major new deal. DraftKings is now the official DFS partner of the NFL. It’s huge news for this company, which has also begun breaking into the newly emerging US sports betting market, as well.DraftKings Logo

It looks like the NFL is beginning to embrace the sports wagering industry. Today, we’re going to look at exactly what this new partnership means. We’ll also talk about some of the NFL betting odds available online right now.

The Rise of DFS and Sports Betting in the United States

A little more than a year ago, Nevada was the only state that was able to offer sports gambling odds. In May of 2018, this changed. The Supreme Court struck down PASPA, giving every state in the country the ability to set its own laws on the sports gambling industry. 19 states have now legalized sports gambling.

Prior to PASPA being struck down, many individuals in the country chose to partake in daily fantasy sports. DFS is similar in ways to sports betting. It allows players to choose a “fantasy lineup” of athletes that are set to compete on a particular day. The better your lineup team performs, the more points you earn and the more money you can win.

Several DFS companies now operate in the US. They’re able to do so because daily fantasy sports is considered a “game of skill.” DraftKings is the biggest and most popular DFS operator in the country, with millions of active users.

Recently, DraftKings has begun breaking into the traditional sports betting market. Many states now allow online sports wagering. That doesn’t mean the company is putting it’s daily fantasy sports services behind, though.

This week, DraftKings secured a major deal with the top sports league in the United States.

DraftKings is Now the Official DFS Partner of the NFL

The NFL remains the biggest and most-watched sports league in the United States. Just a few weeks ago, the 2019/2020 NFL season officially kicked off. Now, DraftKings has secured a deal with the NFL as the league’s new DFS partner.

With this deal comes “exclusive sponsorship of the daily fantasy sports category with access to NFL branding and more” across DraftKings’ platforms. Jason Robins, CEO of DraftKings, commented on the news to the media this week.

“This is a defining moment in the industry, and we are thrilled to become the first daily fantasy sports partner to enter into a formal relationship with the NFL,” he said. “Throughout our discussions with the League, it was evident we share a common vision around the future of fan engagement, and we are excited to continue on this unique journey with the NFL as our official daily fantasy partner.”

Daily fantasy sports fans around the country will now have access to unique NFL content through DraftKings. Of course, many individuals still prefer to make traditional sports wagers on their favorite football teams. There are many amazing US sports betting sites that are offering odds on every single game of the season.

Top Week 4 NFL Betting Odds Available Online

Online sports betting in the US is easier now than ever before. There are many amazing online sportsbooks that are available in every single state. Today, we’re going to look at some of the best week 4 NFL odds available through Bovada.

One game that’s drawing the attention of sports betting fans this week is between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills. Both these teams have looked great thus far in the 2019/2020 season. They’re both 3-0 and will finally face off in one of the most exciting AFC matches this week.

It’s not much of a surprise to see the Patriots entering as the significant betting favorites with odds of -360. New England remains a serious Super Bowl contender and, on paper, should get the win here. The Bills are live underdogs and with odds of +280, could earn you some serious money with a win this Sunday.

One of the most lopsided matchups this week takes place between the LA Chargers and the Miami Dolphins. LA is the massive betting favorite with Bovada odds of -1200. Miami has disappointed for most of this season and enters this game with odds of just +700 to win.

DraftKings is now the official DFS partner of the NFL. Feel free to check this site out today to see the exciting new NFL branding that’s available. Stay tuned for more NFL betting news over the next few months!