Writer’s crystal ball sees big things for Las Vegas

Forget, for a moment, where Las Vegas will be as a pro sports town in 10 years.

Put talk of Super Bowl 50 on hold for a second. Then envision the futuristic world of Super Bowl 100.

Sports Illustrated cleverly did just that: staffers and panelists were asked to peer into the future and imagine the Super Bowl in 2066.

“For its centennial Super Bowl, the NFL returned to its favorite host city, Las Vegas, which first staged the title game 45 years ago,” wrote S.I.’s Steve Rushin.

“Super Bowl LV shared its initials with Las Vegas,” added Rushin, “but also with Louis Vuitton, the luxury brand that paid handsomely to cover game balls in its handbag leather, embossed with its famous logo.

Rushin’s crystal ball foresees 2021 as an epic year for Las Vegas.

It’s the year the NFL, following the lead of the rest of the country, “abandoned its nominal objections to sports gambling and awarded Steve Wynn the expansion franchise that became the Las Vegas Centurions,” wrote Rushin.

It was announced last week Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson was teaming up with investors on a $1 billion, 65,000-seat stadium on UNLV land. Adelson met with Mark Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, on Friday to discuss moving the NFL team into the stadium.

The Centurions’ opponent was Barcelona, whose fans arrived “from all points of the globe, touching down both at McCarran International and Tarkanian Supersonic.”

Rushin sees ticket scanners being replaced by retina scanners “with what looked like a neuralyzer from the cinematic classic ‘Men in Black,'” except that these “don’t erase your short-term memory. That’s the job of the $75 beers.”

Game balls were dropped by drones, and kickoffs were a thing of the past, a concession to injury concerns.

The Super Bowl 100 halftime show: “a chorus of holographic Vegas immortals in their prime (Elvis, Sinatra, Wayne Newton, Liberace), performing alongside today’s live Vegas icons (Britney Spears, North West, and Blue Ivy Carter, not to mention the former boy band turned Greatest Rock and Roll Band in History, One Direction, now in their 55th year of touring.”

The Review-Journal is owned by a limited liability company controlled by the Adelson family, majority owners of Las Vegas Sands.

Murren on parking

MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren, asked about the raging controversy over MGM Resort International’s decision to charge for parking, had a few predictions of his own.

The parking of the future, he said, will be outside of the downtown areas “and wouldn’t that be better for the pedestrian experience?”

“The cities of the world are going to change with the technology that’s coming forth,” Murren told reporters after he addressed Preview Las Vegas at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion. The event was presented by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Murren announced two weeks ago that a $10 or less parking fee will be charged at MGM properties starting between April and June. Almost $100 million in improvements, including a new garage, have been made in advance of the opening $375 million T-Mobile Arena in April.

“I just think we have to think about the future here,” he said. “Isn’t it better to have safe, secure parking facilities? Isn’t it better to know who is parking in your garages and who they are and what they are doing?”

He said the company doesn’t “build anything that’s free. How do you make a business model that’s free?”

“People pay in cities. They pay here to go to a basketball game, they pay downtown, they pay at the convention center,” he said.

“It’s just a logical progression,” he said. “We’re getting worked up about parking when our company is investing more money in the community than anybody else.”

On this day

Feb. 1, 2005: Sky Las Vegas Condominiums launches an ad campaign proclaiming, “Dear Tara Reid, Come Let It All Hang Out,” a tacky reference to her wardrobe malfunction on a red carpet the year before. She sues, claiming her reputation was damaged, and the parties settle later in the year.

Sightings

Oscar winner and 30 Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto, attending “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace on Saturday. Melissa and Joe Gorga of “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” dining Saturday at Buddy V’s at the Palazzo. They were in town with baker Buddy Valastro and his wife, Lisa. Austin “Chumlee” Russell, spinning a special DJ set at Ghostbar at the Palms on Saturday. His longtime pal and “Pawn Stars” co-star Corey Harrison joined him in the DJ booth. … Former UFC champ Tito Ortiz, belatedly celebrating his 41st birthday at Drai’s Nightclub at The Cromwell on Saturday with his girlfriend Amber Nicole Miller. His birthday was Jan. 23 … Actor Tommy Lee Jones, dining in a private room at Ferraro’s on Thursday. He enjoyed Rosalba’s Cookies so much he took some to go, on the house. Rosalba, the wife of Gino Ferraro, has been making them for Ferraro restaurants for 30 years.

The punch line

“A matador in Spain is under investigation after a video surfaced of him bullfighting while holding his 5-month-old baby girl in his arms. But to be fair, it was Take Your Daughter to Work Day.” — Seth Meyers

— Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. On Twitter: @Norm_Clarke.

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