Super Bowl will be a ’20-day event’ when it comes to Las Vegas in 2024, Kirkpatrick says

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By Ray Hagar, Nevada Newsmakers

The Super Bowl, with it’s worldwide TV audience, is coming to Las Vegas in 2024, the NFL has announced. Fans have become used to a week-long celebration of events in the host city prior to the game.

When the game comes to Las Vegas, it will probably be a 20-day event, Clark County Commission Chair Marilyn Kirkpatrick said on Nevada Newsmakers.

“It’s more of a 20-day event,” Kirkpatrick told host Sam Shad. “You have to load in and then you have to load out. So there’s always folks that stay before and after and then the whole preparation of getting it ready.

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“So I would say more like a 20-day event,” she continued. “That would be consistent. Today we are breaking down the (National Finals) Rodeo and next week we’re setting up for CES (Consumer Electronics Show), so that helps our economy for a longer time. So we like that type of event.”

Las Vegas will play host to its first major NFL event when the 2022 NFL Draft is held in late April. Las Vegas was scheduled to host it in 2020, however, the event was cancelled because of the Covid pandemic.

The two events — NFL Draft and Super Bowl — hopefully will cement the NFL’s confidence in Las Vegas. Future plans are riding on the success of the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, Kirkpatrick said.

Veteran Nevadan Journalist Ray Hagar is known for fair and tough reporting and invigorating commentary.

“This is a goal that we have always looked at and our goal is to do it very well so we can be on the every-five-year (Super Bowl) circuit when they move (the game) around with stadiums,” Kirkpatrick said. “I’m very excited about it.”

The economic impact of the game is projected to be about $500 million, tourism officials said. State and local taxes the game could generate are estimated to be about $70 million.

“This is good for our community,” she added. “This is good for us to kind of showcase the stadium that we built.”

The stadium has opened up a new era for Las Vegas, Kirkpatrick said. Out-of-town soccer and college football teams — plus the Las Vegas Raiders — have attracted crowds of around 50,000. Major concerts, featuring acts like the Rolling Stones, have also been held there.

In a public-service gesture, Allegiant also played host to the Nevada high school state football championship games for all divisions.

“It has brought so many more events that (before) we were just missing the boat on,” Kirkpatrick said.

She also defended the $750 million in Clark County room taxes that helped fund the $1.9 billion stadium on The Strip.

“So what I would tell you and what I tell my constituents, it is not actually public funding,” she said. “It is dollars that are charged on the hotels for tourism to go back to promote tourism.”

Some of the biggest news for the Las Vegas Strip this past year had to do with the Las Vegas Sands Corp. A few months after the death of its iconic leader, Sheldon Adelson, the Sands agreed to sell its properties on The Strip, including the Venetian Resort and the Sands Expo/Convention Center, for $6.25 billion.

Yet Kirkpatrick predicted the Sands might be coming back.

“Oh absolutely,” she said when asked if the Sands Corp., could re-invest in The Strip in the future. “Nothing is a surprise, right? A lot of times people just get out of things and they come back five years later, four years later, and do something different. So nothing is ever a surprise when it comes to the Las Vegas Strip.”

The Strip likes to re-invent itself every five years, Kirkpatrick said, predicting change for the future.

“Land is very valuable today on the Las Vegas Strip,” she said. “It is more valuable than it has been in the last 10 years. And so I would anticipate some new ventures aimed across the valley that impact the Strip. So we look forward to seeing what the next big thing is.”

Kirkpatrick does not see Wynn Resorts — who like the Sands has major holdings in Macau — selling its Las Vegas properties.

“I have not seen or heard that and I would not expect that because they really have fallen in love, as you would say, with their properties and they are very hands on, so that would surprise me if that came about,” she said.

Kirkpatrick also stonewalled a question about the possibility of her running for governor in 2022.

“I’m not even focused on anything political at this point,” she said. “I don’t even know all the seats that are up. My focus is really on getting us out of the pandemic. We have a lot of social service things we have to do and getting people back to work. And we have to re-train many people (to find jobs) and I have to find housing and water. Those things are our primary focus right now.”

When asked to address talk that she may, instead, support Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo for governor, she said, “There are rumors everywhere. And again, I’m not going to get into the politics.”

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