LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As the Super Bowl week is well underway in Atlanta, many people are making comparisons between the current host city and Vegas.
Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in 2017 and by next year - it will have played host to the big three sports events - the college football national championship, the Final Four in college basketball and the Super Bowl. And although Las Vegas Stadium won’t open until next year, hosting the big three is likely in our city’s near future. But the question is - is the city ready to host a major sports event?
UNLV professor and director of the Center for Business and Economic Research Stephen Miller said putting on the Super Bowl wouldn’t be all that different from any other event Vegas hosts.
“It’s like another big convention in town and we know how to handle big conventions," said Miller. "We know how to handle security, we have the hotel rooms - everything should run smoothly.”
Something many worry won’t run smoothly - traffic. But Miller says locals knows how to cope.
“We know when we have a big convention here, there are certain parts of the city you don’t want to go to," he said.
Millers says there are certain things the city needs to do to make the roads better for locals, but that’s regardless of whether or not a Super Bowl comes to town.
Even without actually hosting the game itself, Vegas already sees a big boost in tourism on Super Bowl weekend. This year, the LVCVA projects an estimated 306,000 tourists who will likely spend more than $425 million while in town.
“The event, the excitement, the pomp and circumstance. You’re also talking about a large number, an influx of money, of entertainment, of opportunity and it’s a benchmark," said Ryan McKinnell, radio host at NBC Sports.
McKinnell says if any city can and should host the big game, it’s Vegas.
“You have the ease of access. You have the weather. You have the capabilities unlike any other city in America to handle the influx of people. Not only from the standpoint of being able to handle it but being able to handle it and not have it affect your day to day life.”
McKinnell, for one, is tickled at the possibilities.
“Imagine what a Super Bowl would be like here in Las Vegas. With the clubs that we have, the venues that we have, with the residencies that we have: it would be a Super Bowl experience unlike anything this country’s ever seen.”
The first year a Super Bowl could potentially come to Las Vegas would be 2025, because they are currently scheduled in other cities through 2024.