The Oakland Raiders are three years away from playing in their new $1.9 billion stadium just off the Las Vegas Strip, but the team’s president is already thinking about how it could host future Super Bowls and World Cup events.
Marc Badain spoke to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority on Thursday and laid out a plan for how the city could attract big-time sporting events that could pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy.
The next five Super Bowls are already spoken for. In 2018, the Big Game will be played in Minnesota. Following that, it will head to Atlanta, then Miami, Tampa, and Los Angeles. Dallas is the frontrunner for 2023.
Badain said the NFL has reached out to the Raiders to consider Las Vegas as a possible host city for the Super Bowl in 2024 or 2025. The league is also apparently interested in Las Vegas for hosting a future NFL draft, which could be held in any of the city’s large arenas, such as the Mandalay Bay Events Center or T-Mobile Arena.
“We’ve had productive dialogue with the NFL, we had meetings a few weeks ago, and they laid out the process for the NFL draft as well as future Super Bowls,” he said. “And I’ll just tell you that we had very positive feedback for the draft to be awarded for 2019 and 2020 and we have a meeting in about three weeks in Dallas to make a presentation for Las Vegas to be the host for one of those drafts and the Super Bowl for the year 2024 or 2025.”
Two Kinds of Football
Badain also informed the board members that he and Stadium Authority Chairman Steve Hill are traveling to Houston on Tuesday to continue courting FIFA members to consider the soon-to-be-built 65,000-seat domed stadium as a venue for 2026 World Cup matches.
The US, Mexico, and Canada are putting together a joint bid for the quadrennial soccer championship, and Las Vegas is still on the list of 32 possible host cities. The list started with 44, and will eventually be whittled down to 12.
While Las Vegas might still be something of a long shot for the World Cup’s brand of football, it looks like a sure bet for the Super Bowl. The process for selection has changed in recent years. No longer are cities expected to request an opportunity for hosting the game. Instead the NFL now approaches cities it believes would be a good fit for hosting the spectacle.
The NFL is also particularly eager to showcase new facilities. This was the case with the new $2.6 billion home for the Rams and Chargers in the Los Angeles area, which will have its new stadium on display for the 2022 Super Bowl.
Most believe the effort to land a Super Bowl or World Cup games would be worth it from a financial standpoint. Last year’s Super Bowl LI in Houston brought in an estimated $347 million, according to a report from Rockport Analytics.
The study concluded that nearly 150,000 visitors showed up for the game, despite only half of those having tickets. Las Vegas could easily accommodate such numbers with its approximately 125,000 hotel rooms on the Strip alone. Super Bowl Sunday already makes for one of the busiest tourist weekends in Las Vegas, with more than 300,000 visitors descending on the town and betting $120-$130 million statewide.
The World Cup’s windfall could be even greater. Brazil hosted the 2014 soccer championship, which pumped an estimated $3 billion into its economy.