LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — After the Super Bowl wrapped in Miami on Sunday, Las Vegas moved into the hot seat as the next host city of a major NFL event.
"All eyes will be on our destination, the arrival of the Raiders and of course those first-round draft picks," said Lori Nelson-Kraft, Senior Vice President for the LVCVA.
Nelson-Kraft said the city is now in deep planning-mode with the NFL. That includes everything from coordinating with resort partners to safety and security. Just as important, transportation and parking for workers and fans and memorable fan experiences throughout the three-day event.
When it comes to local experience, Nelson Kraft said the LVCVA's goals are "to really minimize any disruption that'll happen and also be opportunistic to make sure that locals know that this is a celebration for them too."
That disruption for those who live here is expected and all but inevitable when it comes to hosting a large-scale event. The NFL draft will come with major road closures beginning on April 8. Parts of Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo will be shut down for stretches before the event. Road closures will be in full effect throughout the event, April 23 through 25.
So what's in it for locals?
To start, jobs. An estimated 1,500 to 3,000 locals are expected to be hired leading up to the draft, compared to 1,700 for last year's draft in Nashville.
"This is bigger, this is more complex. We would imagine that local labor would be much bigger. So if it's here and we can use it, then we will use it," said Jon Barker, head of live event production for the NFL.
And when it comes to the actual event, hundreds of thousands of tourists will likely pump millions of dollars into the local economy.
"NFL fans are some of the most rowdy, loyal and they love to spend money so i doubt there will be any trinkets left in Vegas by the time the NFL fans leave," said Steve Budin, financial advisor at The Budin Group.
Now, to the fun part -- the celebration. The NFL Draft is a free party locals are invited and encouraged to attend.
"This is a celebration we want them to be part of, that we want them to plan for it. We're going to make it as easy and convenient as possible to have some parking solutions so everyone can be part of the festivities," said Nelson-Kraft.
The LVCVA launched a new volunteer portal for locals to get involved with major events in town like the draft. For more information, click here.