LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl will be held at Sam Boyd Stadium for the last time Saturday.
The Boise State Broncos will take on the Washington Huskies. But the game does more for Las Vegas than just packing a football stadium. The Las Vegas Bowl and all its related events help boost the local economy.
It’s a different kind of Friday night lights under the canopy at the Fremont Street Experience.
A Las Vegas style pep rally fired up the two college football teams and honored all their achievements on the field Friiday night. But it could have just as easily been a celebration of what the Las Vegas bowl has brought to the city for the last 28 years.
John Saccenti is the executive director of the Las Vegas Bowl.
"On any given year we're doing anywhere from $25 to 35 million in economic impact for the city the week before Christmas, “said Saccenti. “Which is great because it keeps people working, drives money to the destination during those traditionally slow times and it fills hotel rooms."
The Huskies and the Broncos don't just with bring with them the spirit of competition; they also bring their bands, cheerleaders, staff, and parents like Melissa Yee who attend all the bowl related events and also visit stores, restaurants and shows.
"There's some new things on the Strip since we've been here, “ said Yee.
While all the hype is tied to a holiday bowl game, it’s a year-round commitment.
"We live here. And we work here all year long, “Saccenti said. “We're not just coming into town to do this event."
Throughout the year there are between 25 and 30 events like community outreach to local charities and youth football leagues. A group of those young athletes involved in those events filled the stands Wednesday for the welcome to Las Vegas reception.
"We have 15 events during bowl week that’s about the team. But we spend the rest of the year trying to make Las Vegas a better place and a better place to live."
You can watch the game right here on Channel 13 starting at 4:30 Saturday afternoon.