Nevada Committee Develops Plan to Attract Major Sporting and Special Events to Las Vegas

Posted on: December 18, 2018, 06:55h. 

Last updated on: December 18, 2018, 06:55h.

The Southern Nevada Sporting Event Committee (SNSEC) has developed a plan to bring major events to Las Vegas and keep its $1.8 billion under-construction stadium occupied in the years ahead.

Nevada Las Vegas Stadium Raiders
Southern Nevada Sporting Event Committee Chair Paul Anderson hopes more than only the Raiders are coming to Las Vegas’ $1.8 billion stadium. (Image: USA TODAY/Jon Ralston/Nevada Independent/

The 20-person agency has signed off on plans to target major events. The group formed through an executive order from Governor Brian Sandoval (R) has the responsibility “to identify potential sporting events and associated activities to host in Southern Nevada, and evaluate the potential costs and benefits associated with each event.”

In its 38-page Final Report and Recommendations to Sandoval, SNSEC says Southern Nevada should focus on landing such prominent events as the World Cup, Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four, and College Football Playoffs. Last week, the NFL announced Las Vegas would host the 2020 NFL Draft.

We want to be able to go after events that fill in our slow times and be strategic about it and make sure that we are bringing in as many people as we can at the right times that we need them, whether that’s slow times that we need to backfill or busy times that we need to balance,” SNSEC Chairman Paul Anderson told the Associated Press.

With the 2020 opening of the pro football stadium that will become the home of the Raiders, SNSEC concludes that Las Vegas will be able “to effectively compete to host nearly any national or international sporting event.”

Picking and Choosing

SNSEC says the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) will handle going after the major events such as the Super Bowl and World Cup. The nonprofit Las Vegas Events committee will handle smaller events and amateur competitions.

The Southern Nevada sporting events board recommends that the LVCVA create “ad hoc” groups — committees specifically formed to achieve a singular task — as needed.

SNSEC says events should be ranked based on benefit-cost analyses, and the only events that should be considered must come with an expectation to have a positive benefit-cost result for the Southern Nevada economy and the region’s tourism industry.

Return on Investment

The Raiders stadium is being partially funded with tax dollars to the tune of $750 million. Using government funds to help an NFL team build a facility was opposed by many critics who said such money shouldn’t be used to aid billionaires.

It’s critical to keeping the domed stadium busy even during the football offseason. Drawing in guests specifically for stadium events will help continue to grow the Southern Nevada economy.

It’s been many years since Las Vegas was a gaming-first destination. The most recent tourism study from the LVCVA found that just five percent of visitors come specifically to gamble.

Arriving for special events such as sports accounted for six percent of visitation. That number is expected to grow when the Raiders begin play in 2020. Rumors regarding a potential MLB and/or NBA franchise would fuel an even larger increase in special events attendance.

The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance concluded in its 2019 Southern Nevada Sports & Entertainment Outlook, “Las Vegas is already benefiting from incremental travel decisions based on special events and sporting events with throngs of opposing teams’ fans visible at Vegas Golden Knights games and out-of-state Raiders fans buying up large blocks of season tickets.”