With the Super Bowl over, the NFL’s attention now shifts from Florida to Las Vegas and this year’s edition of the league’s annual player draft.
NFL executives will be back in Las Vegas starting Monday, as work forges ahead with the league’s grand plan of hosting the red carpet arrival stage on the Fountains of Bellagio and holding the draft and related fan activities around Caesars Forum convention center for the three-day event occurring April 23-25.
“The special events team at the NFL has obviously the last three weeks been focused on the Super Bowl,” said Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown. “Now that the Super Bowl is over, Las Vegas becomes their No. 1 priority.”
The NFL’s team will meet with various county departments to finalize the draft plan, which includes shutting down 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.
Transportation and parking will be a large focus of the planning sessions to coordinate handling the mass of people expected to attend the event. Raiders’ owner Mark Davis has pegged that number at 750,000 attendees.
A park-and-ride program from the Las Vegas Convention Center will be set up and the Las Vegas Monorail is expected to be a key transportation piece for navigating the resort corridor.
Las Vegas Monorail Co. spokeswoman Ingrid Reisman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last week that meetings regarding the NFL Draft would ramp up after the Super Bowl, with the monorail’s role in the transportation plan becoming clearer in upcoming weeks.
Another big part of the meetings will be to approve temporary structures associated with the draft, according to Commissioner Michael Naft.
“It’s a big event and they have all sorts of equipment that’s going to be coming in and also different elements of their staging,” Naft said. “They’lll have to go through our process to make sure they’re safe and meet our standards.”
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority sent a marketing team to the Super Bowl, where they set up a booth adjacent to radio row to share details of the draft with the media. The team also got to interact with fans, representatives from other NFL cities and football industry professionals.
“This is a momentous year for Las Vegas in relation to the NFL – hosting the draft as the destination’s first official NFL event is historic and a great opportunity for us to show both the league and the fans that we’re already a world-class football city,” said H. Fletch Brunelle, LVCVA vice president of marketing. “The media, fans and industry folks we spoke to while we were in Miami are extremely excited about both the NFL Draft and the Las Vegas Raiders’ inaugural season, and we saw that enthusiasm grow as we talked about not only the plans for the draft itself, but all of the entertainment and other experiences you can only find in Vegas. ”