When the NFL draft takes place next month, the Las Vegas Monorail will be a vital piece to the transportation puzzle of moving hundreds of thousands of people around the resort corridor.
The draft will be held April 23-25 between the Fountains of Bellagio and Caesars Forum convention center near the Linq. Plans call for the shut down of a portion of Las Vegas Boulevard for the better part of three days around its intersection with Flamingo Road where draft activities will take place. Various lane restrictions and road closures are also planned for 24 days surrounding the draft.
Although no official estimate for draft attendance has been released, Raiders’ owner Mark Davis has pegged that number at 750,000 attendees over the three days. Transportation and parking will be a vital part of the planning sessions to coordinate the handling of the hundreds of thousand of people expected to attend the draft.
“We are planning to be carrying a lot of locals and visitors during draft days to the site at Caesars Forum and will be operating the system similar to other citywide events with train frequency approximately every 4 minutes,” said Ingrid Reisman, monorail spokeswoman. “The system is expected to be highly utilized to bring fans and attendees to the NFL Draft Experience and move them out of the heavily congested area to access transportation connections (ride-hailing, cabs, parking, etc.) along our system route and outside of the road closure area and event ground zero.”
The stations with closest access to the draft site will be the Flamingo and Harrah’s/Linq stations. The Bally’s/Paris station is also within walking distance of the site.
Although the closure of Flamingo Road during the draft will be a nuisance to motorists, the absence of vehicles will benefit attendees of the draft, Reisman said.
“The closure of Flamingo Road at Linq Lane will provide a little bit easier pedestrian access across Flamingo to access the NFL Draft Experience,” she said.
All parties involved in putting the draft plan together are working toward finalizing details, with specifics still being ironed out. With the Super Bowl long past, the NFL has been focusing on Las Vegas and the draft, with representatives in and out of town for meetings over the last couple of weeks.
More logistical details regarding parking and check-in procedures for volunteers will be released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Recommendations on parking, transportation and access will be communicated and distributed by the NFL and LVCVA.
Planning is ongoing despite the second presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Las Vegas announced over the weekend.
The NFL is monitoring developments and has been in contact with the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and the NFL-NFLPA (NFL Players Association), and medical experts at the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network Program for Infection Prevention, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
“We will continue those discussions throughout our offseason,” McCarthy said.
If your commute this week involves going anywhere near the Las Vegas Convention Center, don’t forget major traffic congestion is expected in the area as 130,000 attendees converge on a pair of trade shows.
Traffic issues are expected Tuesday-March Saturday around the convention center and the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue, during ConExpo-con/Agg and the co-located IFPE shows, the Nevada Department of Transportation announced last week.
The triennial trade shows are the largest of such for the construction industry and see over 2,800 exhibitors from 170 countries, occupying 2.6 million square feet of display space.