Once an afterthought, Las Vegas now revels in cozy relationship with NFL

Las Vegas Strip
Posted at 3:23 PM, Feb 01, 2024

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Super Bowl in Las Vegas would have been a pipe dream less than two decades ago.

Now, however, Las Vegas is a thriving National Football League market that is set to host its first-ever Super Bowl in a matter of days.

Super Bowl LVIII between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs is set to take place Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium, even though Las Vegas was not long ago thought of as off limits for such big-time sporting events.

That was largely because of the stigma associated with gambling, but attitudes have largely changed in recent years and now, the NFL is cozying up to Las Vegas.

"The draft there was a great success," the NFL's Jeff Miller said about the 2022 NFL Draft, which took place here.

During a virtual press conference Tuesday, Miller also lauded Las Vegas for the job it did in hosting the Pro Bowl in recent years.

"We have every reason to expect the Super Bowl there will be a great game and a terrific week," Miller said.

The Chiefs and 49ers are expected to arrive in Las Vegas Sunday or Monday, according to a league official.

While in town, they'll be staying at hotels in the Lake Las Vegas area and the league has strict rules in place to help keep members of each organization from gambling while in town — there's no gambling of any kind allowed.

As for players from other NFL teams who might be in town to partake in the festivities of Super Bowl week, they can gamble, but only if it's not on anything NFL-related.

On visitor expectations, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority expects over 300,000 to descend on Southern Nevada for the Super Bowl, and that over $600 million will be pumped into the local economy because of it.

"It's going to be the biggest event of the century," said Douglas Warner, a Las Vegas resident who was out and about on Fremont Street on Tuesday.