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What to expect during Super Bowl week in Las Vegas

In just over 18 months Las Vegas will host the biggest spectacle in American sports — the Super Bowl.

Allegiant Stadium will host the massive event, which is expected to generate over $500 million in economic impact, according to Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

But while all eyes nationally will be on the game, locally there will be a week’s worth of events that will impact the local community and economy.

That includes a $3 million legacy grant program that the Super Bowl Committee will work with dozens of local nonprofits to identify meaningful uses for, said Sam Joffray, executive director of the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee.

Events every day

Super Bowl week gets underway on the Monday before the game with media day.

“It’s where 6,000 members of the media get their first chance to put a microphone in front of the players,” Joffray said. “It is a circus. It’s a free-for-all. … They’ll ask questions about the game to what they’re listening to on their iPods.”

Tuesday night will see the Super Bowl Committee host those 6,000 media members for a welcoming party “to show them the best of Vegas,” Joffray said.

“The next day hopefully everybody is writing about it,” he said. That’s followed Thursday by a VIP media party.

Thursday also brings the NFL Honors awards show where the season’s best performers are honored.

“They kind of mimic the ESPYs and have their own awards show, with a red carpet event Thursday night,” Joffray said.

An NFL owners party — an invitation-only affair — will be hosted Friday.

Saturday night is essentially an open night with the main highlight being parties up and down the Strip hosted by companies, celebrities and sports stars.

“You’ll see Nike hosting a party, you’ll see Shaquille O’Neal hosting a party,” Joffray said. “You’ll be hard-pressed to not feel the impact of some event Saturday night.”

Then it’s Sunday and the Super Bowl.

Members of the public can also get in on the action all week via the NFL Experience. The fan-friendly, ticketed event features various attractions, including interactive ones, autograph sessions with players and merchandise sales.

Transportation unknowns

Joffray noted that since this is the first time Las Vegas has hosted the Super Bowl, officials don’t have a proven playbook for how to pull it off.

“We don’t have a transportation plan, we don’t have a gameday staff plan,” he said. “When we did the bid, they hadn’t even hosted a game in the stadium yet.”

On a typical Raiders game day, over 20,000 fans are estimated to walk across the Hacienda Avenue bridge from the resort corridor. While the average NFL fan might not mind making that trek, the fans attending Super Bowls are a different case.

And this point keeps Joffray up at night.

Super Bowl crowds are mainly comprised of those with wealth, with the cheapest tickets costing several thousand dollars. So the majority of fans who will attend the Super Bowl will need to be transported via private car, shuttles and ride-hailing services.

“How do we get all these people to the stadium?” Joffray asked. “It’s not like a Raiders game. This is a different audience, they expect to be driven there, dropped off.”

Getting the fans to the stadium is one thing. Getting them back to their homes or hotels after the game as efficiently as possible is something else that planners have to consider.

“Otherwise they’ll leave town saying, ‘Oh, it was a nightmare at the Super Bowl,’ ” Joffray said.

Ensuring that the fans’ time in Las Vegas is a great experience extends all the way to the day they leave town.

“That goes as far as the Monday after (the Super Bowl) at the airport experience,” said Lisa Motley, senior director of sports and special events for the LVCVA. “This is our legacy of people being in the destination. We want to welcome them and we want to thank them for their business.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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