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Touchdown! Super Bowl brings big economic victory to Las Vegas

Updated February 13, 2024 - 8:18 pm

Las Vegas tourism officials say the economic impact of Super Bowl 58 may be better than expected.

The NFL championship event held Sunday at Allegiant Stadium was estimated to bring in at least $500 million in spending, a figure that the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said could be lower than what future economic impact reports, expected in the coming weeks, will show.

Before Super Bowl weekend, analysts predicted around 330,000 people would visit Las Vegas for the big game and its festivities. But now, that number could reach as high as 450,000, officials say. And spending over the long Super Bowl weekend could reach as high as $1.1 billion.

“Anecdotally, it looks like the estimates that we’ve been putting out are gonna be a little conservative,” Steve Hill, president and CEO of the LVCVA, told the media after Tuesday’s board meeting. “Just talking to the properties about how the week went for them — better than expected, which expectations were pretty high. So we’re pretty happy about that.”

Staff told the LVCVA Board of Directors that there were 300 events in the days leading up to and on Sunday, such as property-specific watch parties and NFL-sanctioned events.

More than 100 national and international broadcast stations were on Radio Row — a media area in the Super Bowl run-up. The event generated an estimated 14,000 news stories with more than 5 billion domestic impressions, chief marketing officer Kate Wik told the board during a presentation.

Hill said the marketing value of hosting the game was immeasurable.

“It’s remarkable exposure, and particularly when it goes so well,” Hill said to reporters. “It was a beautiful day, the views of the Strip were fantastic. The game itself was probably the best ever. Everything around it was basically perfect. Talking with folks (at advertising partner) R&R Partners this morning and they’re like, ‘I don’t even know if we could put a value on this,’ but it would be well over half a billion dollars worth of marketing value that we received because of the event.”

But some other measurements that indicate the event’s strength are already in. Nevada sportsbooks took in a historic amount wagered, $185.6 million in bets. And TV viewership was also record-breaking: The game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs had an average audience of 123.4 million viewers, according to CBS Sports. More than 202 million viewers watched at least some of the game.

Hospitality analytics firm STR forecasted the average daily room rate for Friday through Sunday to reach $573, the highest level for any Super Bowl weekend on record. It projected an occupancy rate of nearly 88 percent. For comparison, actualized average daily room rates during the Formula One Grand Prix, held Nov. 16-18 last year, reached $502.

Visitors in town for the Grand Prix — another major first for the region — spent about $561 million among about 145,000 visitors, according to preliminary impact reports.

Hill said he wasn’t able to say whether the Super Bowl or the F1 race had the biggest economic impact. He said F1 was more challenging because the venue was the county’s streets, but he declined to speculate on other comparisons.

“Comparing the Super Bowl and Formula One is like comparing two of your children,” Hill said. “They’re both fantastic. We love them both.”

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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