Las Vegas is on the shortlist to host the 2020 NFL Draft. If America’s gambling capital is selected, the event would coincide with the scheduled arrival of the Raiders franchise in Sin City.
Las Vegas is one of five candidate cities for the 2019 and 2020 NFL Draft. The other nominees are Nashville, Cleveland/Canton, Kansas City, and Denver. The winners will be selected and announced during an NFL owners meeting May 21-23 in Atlanta.
The NFL Draft is a three-day, seven-round event, in which eligible college football players are selected into the pros. The spectacle was held in New York City each April or early May from 1965 until 2014.
Chicago hosted in 2015 and 2016, and Philadelphia, which ended up winning its first Super Bowl last month, hosted in 2017. This year’s draft is being held at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
There’s no word on whether Las Vegas Stadium, the future home of the Raiders, would be the draft venue should the city be awarded the 2020 event.
NFL brass have long opposed Las Vegas hosting games due to the city’s widespread sports betting. Commissioner Roger Goodell remains concerned about the impact sports gambling can potentially have on the so-called “integrity of the game.”
Though the NFL is considering Las Vegas for the 2019 draft, the following year’s event might be a more likely option. That’s when Las Vegas Stadium (working name for the domed structure) is expected to be completed and begin hosting the Raiders that fall.
The arrival of the team in 2020 also shortens Las Vegas’ odds of hosting its first Super Bowl. Earlier this month, NFL Senior VP of Events Peter O’Reilly explained that the stadium, along with the Strip’s countless amenities and more than 150,000 hotel rooms, makes the area a realistic candidate for a Super Bowl.
NFL owners could choose the site for the 2023 Super Bowl as early as next month. The big game is headed to Atlanta in 2019, Miami in 2020, Tampa in 2021, and Los Angeles for 2022.
Raiders owner Mark Davis sits on the NFL’s Super Bowl and Major Events Advisory Committee, a panel that helps owners through the selection process.
Work is well underway at the 62-acre stadium site west of Mandalay Bay between Russell Road and Hacienda Avenue. The 65,000-seat domed facility was approved with a construction cost of $1.9 billion.
Nevada is paying $750 million, money that will be generated by a 0.88 percent hotel occupancy tax increase placed on Clark County overnight stays. Davis and the Raiders are paying $500 million, and Bank of America is loaning the remaining $650 million.
However, in the coming days, the construction company building the massive stadium will finalize the total cost of the facility. Davis and the Raiders are responsible for any overages, as Nevada’s contribution is capped at $750 million.
The $1.9 billion price tag has been the working number for more than years.