Think a Super Bowl in Las Vegas is Impossible?

Here's how it could happen.

Illustration by Hawk Krall

Illustration by Hawk Krall

2020

After 24 failed stadium initiatives, including the ill-fated Adeldome, the people of Las Vegas are finally spurred to action when Elon Musk announces plans to lure the NFR to Reno with a state-of-the-art arena. Intent on maintaining Vegas’ status as the rodeo capital of the U.S., the city passes one of the 13 stadium proposals on the ballot, a gambling/sports/entertainment/resort mecca to be built on the site of the since-demolished Hooters casino. Taxpayers will contribute 99 percent of the construction costs, with the one percent taking care of the final one percent.

2022

City officials negotiate to bring the San Antonio Raiders to Las Vegas. Raiders owner Mark Davis is intrigued when he is offered a lifetime gift: the only free parking spot left in the city.

2023

Construction is completed on CVS Stadium, the first Strip property with a full-size football field and the 16th with a chain pharmacy. It seats 60,000 FanDuel players and 20,000 civilian spectators and offers drone seating, which allows fans to hover over the field of play.

2031

The Raiders’ 15-year lease in San Antonio expires, allowing the franchise to move to Vegas. With Bill Foley still awaiting the NHL’s decision regarding expansion (any day now, the league says), the Raiders become the first “Big Four” pro sports team in Vegas.

2031

The NFL and the sportsbooks announce that they have reached an agreement: There will be no gambling on Las Vegas Raiders games, thereby preserving the integrity of the NFL.
2031 (next day)
The NFL begins taking bribes from Las Vegas’ Super Bowl committee.

2032

Freshly bribed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell takes the stage in a floor-length fur coat (don’t ask for a receipt) and announces that Super Bowl LXX will be held in Las Vegas.

SUPER BOWL WEEK

Monday, Feb. 4, 2036

Fans flock to the NFL Experience throughout the week, which requires the intersection at Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue to be cordoned off. Among the activities are a Hall of Fame exhibit, nightly concerts and virtual reality tackling game for kids, which allows them to go up against virtual players and make virtual tackles like the pros did back in the day, before the NFL switched to flag football rules in 2024.

Escorts arrive en masse, briefly blocking out the sun about 11:30 a.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2036

Super Bowl Media Day welcomes a record 35,000 credentialed social media journalists, as well as the country’s three remaining newspaper columnists.

Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2036

The city closes off the rest of the Strip to traffic. With no light rail serving the city, the mass of pedestrians leads to Super Bowl LXX officially becoming known as the Super Stroll.

Thursday, Feb. 7, 2036

With the hometown Raiders not participating in the game (extending a 34-year Bowl drought), the NFL and the books come to an agreement: No bets are accepted on the final score or the point spread, but casinos are allowed to offer prop bets. The over/under on rushing attempts is set at 1.5.

Friday, Feb. 8, 2036

If there is one aspect of hosting the Super Bowl that Las Vegas is fully prepared for, it’s the parties. Mayor Goodman IV declares the Friday before the game a citywide holiday, giving locals a full day off to get the weekend started early. Hakkasan VI resident DJ Johnny Manziel draws a big crowd.

Saturday, Feb. 9, 2036

President Donald Trump and Vice President Tom Brady arrive in town via helicopter and spend the night at White House West, the presidential estate that was added on to Trump Tower during his fourth term.

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2036

2:30 p.m. In honor of the 70th Super Bowl, a pregame ceremony individually recognizes every former living NFL player older than 70 years of age.

2:32 p.m. Ceremony ends.

3:25 p.m. Kickoff.

3:28 p.m. Color commentator Peyton Manning utters his first inadvertent “Omaha” of the broadcast. Play-by-play man Jim Nantz squeals with glee. The pay- per-view audience of 600 million collectively groans.

5:04 p.m. The Killers take the stage for the halftime show. Excitement is high for the band’s reunion, as they haven’t played live together since their third and final farewell tour in 2030. Brandon Flowers announces to the crowd that their next album will be an epic, Springsteen-esque classic.

5:57 p.m. A crazy parachute contraption propels someone calling himself “Grandson of Fan Man” through the retractable roof and onto the field, interrupting the first play of the fourth quarter.

7:03 p.m. The game ends. Goodell stumbles toward the podium, and hands the since-renamed Bill Belichick Trophy to … Coach Cam Newton, who hands it to a fan behind the end zone.

9:30 p.m. The CVS Stadium marquee is stripped down and shipped to the Neon Museum as demolition begins and Las Vegas makes way for the next big thing.

DTLV

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