Updated December 15, 2021 - 4:24 pm
IRVING, Texas — When the Raiders set out on their journey to Las Vegas six years ago, their owner, Mark Davis, made a pledge to state and city leaders and residents that opening their arms to his team meant so much more than just welcoming a professional football team to the region.
“You’re getting the power and the assets of the entire National Football League,” Davis remembers saying.
He decisively delivered on that pledge Wednesday when the NFL’s 32 owners voted unanimously to award Super Bowl LVIII to Las Vegas.
The game is scheduled to be played on Feb. 11, 2024, at Allegiant Stadium. The decision was first reported Monday by the Review-Journal.
A beaming Davis proudly accepted the bid at the NFL’s winter meetings. “I’m absolutely thrilled,” he said.
By his side was Steve Hill, the CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
“It is really a pleasure to be here today and to be a part of this announcement,” said Hill, who estimates the Super Bowl will generate $500 million for the region and an additional $70 million in local and state tax revenue.
Among those Davis acknowledged was the late Sheldon Adelson, the founder of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., whose original partnership with the Raiders helped kick-start their relocation to Las Vegas. That effort to bring the NFL to Las Vegas and build a stadium that would attract major events in the sports and entertainment worlds culminated with Wednesday’s announcement.
“It’s a big day for the Raiders. It’s a big day for the city of Las Vegas,” Davis said. “I think it’s a marriage made in heaven. We are just really, really excited.”
As is the NFL, which has quickly embraced Las Vegas and Allegiant Stadium as a destination market and venue capable of hosting the biggest events on the league’s annual calendar. That includes the Pro Bowl, which is coming to Las Vegas in February, and the NFL draft, which arrives in April.
“Never before has a city had the Pro Bowl, the draft and then the Super Bowl. I think that points to a level of confidence from the owners in Las Vegas as a great destination,” said Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s executive vice president for club business & league events. “A place where fans and partners want to congregate and just a great stage for some of our biggest assets.”
As Davis pointed out, the rapid trust Las Vegas has earned from the NFL is a testament to the region’s ability to pull off big-time events. The Raiders were approved to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas in 2017. Construction began on Allegiant Stadium soon after.
The $1.9 billion stadium opened in 2020 and already has emerged as one of the bright new lights of the NFL. Hence the unanimous approval by owners to stage its biggest event in Las Vegas.
“For them to put the confidence in us this soon, to give us the Pro Bowl, the draft and I think the most valuable asset not only in the National Football League but maybe the world, this soon, is just confirmation of what we’ve done,” Davis said.
Much like the NHL, which in adding the Golden Knights in 2015 took a chance on the viability of Las Vegas as a sports town while managing its well-known gaming element, the NFL did likewise with the Raiders.
“The Super Bowl isn’t just a day, it’s a whole series of events leading up to it,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said at a news conference about the Super Bowl at Allegiant Stadium. “I look forward to all of the visitors that will be coming to Las Vegas and the jobs that a Super Bowl will bring.”
Super Bowl LVIII was originally scheduled to be played in New Orleans on Feb. 4, 2024. But before this season, the NFL added a 17th game and pushed its season forward by one week — including its season-ending championship game — creating a conflict with Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. As a result, New Orleans gave up hosting duties in 2024 and was awarded Super Bowl LIX in 2025.
That created an opportunity for Las Vegas, the NFL’s newest market and home to Allegiant Stadium.
The already established relationship between the league and city leaders made for a seamless process as the NFL quickly turned to Las Vegas as a replacement site. Hill said on Wednesday the league immediately reached out to Las Vegas about its willingness to step up as a host. From that moment, he said Las Vegas began the process of convincing the NFL it was worthy of selection.
“It feels like we’ve been dancing with each other for a while,” O’Reilly said. “Obviously, the pandemic disrupted the timing of our first Pro Bowl year and the draft year, but now we sit poised for what is a pretty unprecedented run.”
The 2021 Pro Bowl and NFL draft were scheduled to be held in Las Vegas. Both were held virtually instead.
In a season in which the Raiders have struggled, losing five of their six games to fall to 6-7 and on the verge of playoff elimination, Davis made it a point to celebrate the arrival of the Super Bowl.
“I’m just excited as all hell for the Raiders organization and Raider Nation and Las Vegas and the state of Nevada as a whole,” Davis said. “When you’re not winning on the field, it’s kind of nice to win off it sometimes. Today is a huge, huge win for all of us.”
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Review-Journal reporter Mick Akers contributed to this report. Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore @reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.
For more about Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, visit lvrj.com/SB58.