Updated May 4, 2021 - 10:08 am
People planning to visit Las Vegas for the 2022 NFL draft can expect to pay up to three times as much for a night on the Strip compared with rates in May.
Las Vegas is set to hold both the NFL draft and Pro Bowl next year. The 2020 NFL draft was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The city will host the 2022 NFL draft April 28-30, while the Pro Bowl is slated for Feb. 8.
Paris Las Vegas has rooms starting at $574 the night of Friday, April 29, three times the $189 starting price for rooms this Friday, according to Hotels.com. The Mirage has prices jumping 164 percent to $499 in that same time span, while rooms at Wynn Las Vegas rise 95 percent to $699 and The Venetian prices go from $269 to $409.
“It’s going to be a very big weekend,” said Alan Feldman, a distinguished fellow at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute. “It’s a very significantly hyped event, and the fact that it’s going to be back for the first time in full force in Las Vegas is going to be an incredible … sort of turbo boost. I think it’s going to be a big deal for all the right reasons.”
Filling up hotel rooms
Jon Barker, NFL head of live event production, has said the league will revisit plans it made for the 2020 draft in Las Vegas. The city had been prepared to construct a red carpet stage over the Fountains of Bellagio, with boats ferrying players and their families to and from the stage.
Major events like the draft have attracted thousands of visitors to Las Vegas in the past — resulting in rising room rates — and the draft likely will be no exception.
“I would expect the hotels to all be at capacity,” Feldman said.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic likely play a role in the pricing gap as well, because Las Vegas rooms have yet to fully rebound to pre-pandemic rates. A recent report from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority found that the average daily room rate on the Strip in March was $104.40, down 34 percent year-over-year.
‘Exciting time’ for Las Vegas
Feldman expects sportsbooks to have their hands full during the draft, which typically attracts thousands of football fans. In 2019, more than 600,000 fans took part in NFL draft events in Nashville.
“When the NFL has a big event (in Las Vegas), you tend to get more casino customers in the mix,” Feldman said. “You’re going to get a lot of people making futures bets. … It’s going to be an exciting time to be here.”
Chris Holdren, Caesars Entertainment Inc.’s co-president of Caesars Sports and Online Gaming, said the Reno-based company is “thrilled” that the draft will be in Las Vegas next year. The NFL Draft Main Stage and NFL Draft Experience will both be held at the Caesars Forum Conference Center.
“Las Vegas is uniquely positioned to host an NFL Draft event that’s bigger and better than ever,” Holdren said through an emailed statement. “As the NFL’s first-ever casino partner and official sports betting partner, we value our partnership with the League and look forward to bringing it to life on our home field in Las Vegas.”
MGM spokesman Brian Ahern said the company is also looking forward to having the draft in Las Vegas.
“Like everyone, we were disappointed the 2020 event had to be sidelined,” he said via email. “We can’t wait to show NFL fans around the world how we throw a party.”
Spokespeople from Strip operators Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Wynn Resorts Ltd. did not respond to requests for comment.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Sheldon Adelson, the late chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp.