A decade ago, the NFL squashed the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s attempt to run a Super Bowl ad promoting Las Vegas. Since then, the league developed an ad policy related to destinations and sports wagering, while the authority turned to other outlets, such as ESPN and Fox Sports, to reach its audience. Here, LVCVA chief Rossi Ralenkotter analyzes the NFL-Vegas relationship and gives the odds on a rematch.
How big of a boost is the Super Bowl to Las Vegas’ tourism economy?
If you don’t have tickets to the Super Bowl, the next best place to be is Las Vegas. Where else can you watch the game, surrounded by the best resorts, the best dining and the best entertainment and nightlife? The resorts host parties for the big game and have special promotions. Every year, fans from across the country come to Las Vegas looking to have the ultimate football weekend, and Las Vegas delivers that better than any other destination. The Super Bowl is a signature weekend for Las Vegas.
If you gave NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a shot of truth serum, what do you think he’d say about how important Las Vegas and sports betting is to the success of his league?
I won’t speculate on what he might say. You’d have to check with him on that. As you know, Las Vegas has legalized sports wagering and action on the Super Bowl generated nearly $95 million for Nevada sports books last year. Of course, office pools and fantasy football leagues are also part of the sports culture, especially for the big game.
Recently, while pitching potential events for the proposed UNLV Now project, Las Vegas Events president Pat Christenson suggested there was a good chance you could land an NFL preseason game or maybe the Pro Bowl.
Do you think you’ll see an NFL game of any kind in Las Vegas in your lifetime?
Within the last month (Jan. 16), a spokesman for the NFL said it would be unlikely the league would have an interest in hosting such events in Las Vegas.