2020 NFL Draft Could Have Big Impact on Strip with 750,000 Fans Expected, Las Vegas Boulevard Closure Likely

Posted on: January 20, 2020, 04:06h. 

Last updated on: January 20, 2020, 10:43h.

Just how big will April’s NFL Draft be in Las Vegas? So big that it might shut down a part of the Strip for up to three days.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (right) shares a moment backstage with Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis and Vegas Chamber CEO Marybeth Sewald before he speaks at a Chamber event Friday. (Image: Vegas Chamber/Twitter)

On Tuesday, the Clark County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to discuss possible lane closures for the multi-day event, where all 32 teams will pick players they hope they can turn into their next superstars.

But according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the lane closures might actually turn into complete closures of blocks to accommodate the league and its needs. League officials are expected to attend the meeting and give county leaders additional details of the plans to hold the NFL Draft on the Strip.

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis told the audience at the Vegas Chamber’s Las Vegas Preview Friday that league officials expect about three-quarters of a million people to come to the Strip for the Draft. The Draft will run from April 23-25.

“Not only is Las Vegas getting the Raiders, one of the most iconic brands in all of sports, they’re also getting the entire power of the National Football League,” Davis said. “That power will be in full force in April.”

Davis said that’s “one hell of a way” to kick off the Raiders first season in Las Vegas, where it will play its games at Allegiant Stadium starting in August.

Vegas Has ‘Everything’ for Super Bowl

In speaking to the Chamber crowd Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the Draft should serve as a showcase for the city. He said more details about the event will come after the Clark County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday.

However, could there be more on the horizon?

When asked by Review-Journal Sports Editor Bill Bradley what it would take for Vegas to land a Super Bowl, Goodell said, jokingly, that the first thing that needs to happen is to get through the Draft.

But Goodell has high hopes for the league’s newest city. He said Nashville, which drew about 600,000 people to the Draft last year, received an economic impact of about $225 million from the event. The commissioner thinks Vegas’ windfall will be much larger.

And that should only help the city land the league’s ultimate prize: Hosting a Super Bowl.

This city knows how to put on big events, there’s no question about that,” Goodell said. “You have the infrastructure, and that’s why I think you’re Super Bowl-ready. You now have Allegiant Stadium, which is going to be a world-class stadium, which is our stage, ultimately. So, you do have everything here. Now, it’s just a matter of working with the leadership to understand, how do you want to execute on that? How do you take the Super Bowl and make it bigger and better?”

The earliest the city could land the Super Bowl is in 2025.

Little Drama Expected on Draft Day

While the NFL Draft should be a huge event for the city, one thing that it probably won’t have – at least early on – is drama.

The Cincinnati Bengals hold the first pick in the Draft, and it a foregone conclusion that the Bengals will choose LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the selection. All Burrow did in his senior year was lead the Tigers to the national title and win the Heisman Trophy.

Some sportsbooks have opted not to post odds on the first pick. But those that do have done so with microscopic odds.

PointsBet is offering -2000 for the Bengals to take the Ohio native. That means a $2,000 wager would return $100. FanDuel is offering -2200, while BetAmerica posts Burrow at -3000.

But DraftKings, by far, has the shortest odds on him at -10000.