68°F
weather icon Clear

Loss of NFL draft means millions won’t be spent in Vegas in April

With hundreds of thousands of people no longer coming to Las Vegas at the end of April for the 2020 NFL draft, Southern Nevada businesses won’t see the millions of dollars they were expecting.

The NFL made it official Monday: The draft and all the public festivities surrounding it in Las Vegas have been canceled.

The 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tennessee, resulted in a $224 million economic impact on that city with $130 million in direct spending calculated.

Economic experts believed Las Vegas was in line for an even greater return with the variety of entertainment and dining options available during what amounted to a four-day, full-capacity gathering.

Another lost benefit will be the elimination of a massive worldwide television audience. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority was expecting 47.5 million people in 115 countries to watch some portion of the draft.

With A-list entertainment personalities scheduled on stages each day and night of the draft and iconic views of Las Vegas attractions on display for the TV audience, the event that was to be televised by ABC, ESPN and the NFL Network would have become a giant commercial for Las Vegas.

But it’s all gone.

‘Material negative effect’

“There is no doubt that cancellation of the NFL draft will have a material negative effect on Southern Nevada’s economy,” said Jeremy Aguero of Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis in an email.

“The event, like so many others that have been forced to cancel or suspend, supports jobs, wages and business activity throughout our community,” he said. “The exact amount is difficult to determine at this time, as the compounding effects of the COVID-19 crisis strikes at the very foundation of our economy.”

Aguero said government agencies are doing their best to mitigate the damage, “but with a quarter of our workforce directly tied to the leisure and hospitality industry, the economic challenges will be formidable.”

Business professor Stephen Miller, director of UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said the small-business suppliers of Strip resorts that don’t have the capital base to sustain a prolonged closure would likely be the hardest hit by the draft’s cancellation and all the other closures occurring as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

“I would say it’s just another blow like a lot of the other events that have been going on,” Miller said. “A public health crisis is really not anything we can deal with in terms of our policy control levers.”

Among the agency leaders looking to pick up the pieces is Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which essentially served as the connection point between the NFL, the Las Vegas Raiders and the city’s resort community.

“Las Vegas appreciates the partnership we have developed with the NFL and agree that the health and safety of our citizens and guests must take priority,” Hill said in an email. “We look forward to the Raiders playing here this fall for what is going to be an ‘Only Vegas’ opening season, and also look forward to working with the NFL to bring their events, including the draft, to this great city.”

Most funding unspent

Hill said the LVCVA spent a minimal amount of the $2.4 million allocated by its board for draft expenses. Most of the expenses, he explained, were to come due closer to the dates of the event with public safety, volunteer-related costs, shuttle services, county permits and a marquee event needing to be paid for.

Hill had no comment on speculation that the NFL could look to Las Vegas to host the draft in another year.

Cleveland, home to the Browns and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is scheduled to host the draft in 2021, and Kansas City in 2023, but the calendar is open for 2022.

The two companies with properties closest to the planned draft venues had different reactions to the event’s cancellation.

Caesars’ brand-new Caesars Forum convention center and The Linq Promenade were to be the site of the draft’s main stage where NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was to announce the names of players drafted by the 32 NFL teams. Caesars Entertainment Corp. had no comment about the cancellation.

Bellagio’s 8-acre man-made lake and its fountain show and a floating platform was planned as the backdrop for a red-carpet introduction of players prior to their names being called.

“MGM Resorts understands and supports the NFL’s decision,” the company said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming the NFL and all its fans to Las Vegas later this year when the Raiders’ season kicks off.”

The Nevada Resort Association, which represents 71 resort properties statewide, also issued a statement about the cancellation.

“We appreciate and understand the careful and thorough consideration that went into the NFL’s decision to modify their plans for the health and safety of fans and the public,” the NRA statement said. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with the NFL and working with them on major events in Las Vegas in the future.”

Spokesmen for Boyd Gaming Corp., Las Vegas Sands Corp., Wynn Resorts Ltd., and Station Casinos Inc. did not respond to requests for comment.

Wynn Las Vegas and Encore will close for at least two weeks beginning Tuesday. MGM will close its nine Las Vegas properties “until further notice” effective Tuesday, taking tens of thousands of hotel rooms offline amid a collapse in visitation and mass cancellations of conventions.

Representatives for Red Rock Resorts, Caesars, Sands and Boyd Gaming Corp. told the Review-Journal they have no plans to close their Nevada casinos at this time.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

Like and follow Vegas Nation
Raiders Videos
Raiders extend season ticket dues - Video
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Las Vegas Raiders are extending final season ticket dues until the summer.
Raiders fullback Alec Ingold ready to play in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Raiders fullback Alec Ingold sits down with the RJ and talks about the excitement surrounding the team's move to Las Vegas during off-season training in Wisconsin. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ikem Okeke Trying to get Noticed By NFL Scouts With His Pro Day Canceled Due to Coronavirus - Video
Ikem Okeke is a Bishop Gorman High alum who played his college football at Hawaii. After his pro day was canceled due to the coronavirus, he's attempting to catch the attention of NFL scouts by creating his own workout using the same company that tests at the combine. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Justin Herbert: Forcing Himself to be Uncomfortable to Become an NFL Quarterback
In order to become a prolific quarterback in the NFL, Oregon's Justin Herbert says he is going to have to make himself uncomfortable and put himself in challenging situations in order to improve at his position. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Worker at Allegiant Stadium tests positive for COVID-19
Construction of Allegiant Stadium is unlikely to affected by the coronavirus outbreak that is having an impact on just about every industry across the Las Vegas Valley. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Agree to Terms with WR Nelson Agholor - VIDEO
On Saturday the Raiders agreed to terms with wide receiver Nelson Agholor,  offensive lineman Eric Kush, tight end Nick O’Leary and running back Rod Smith, who appeared in the team’s final three games last season as a special teams player. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Agree to Terms with CB Eli Apple - VIDEO
The Raiders have come to terms with cornerback Eli Apple, who last played with the New Orleans Saints. Apple was drafted 10th overall in 2016 by the New York Giants. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders sign LB Littleton, DE Nassib, more
On the second day of the legal tampering period in the NFL, the Raiders picked up linebacker Cory Littleton, defensive end Carl Nassib, tight end Jason Witten and more. Here's a recap of the action from Tuesday. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders strengthen defense in free agency - Video
Some of the Raiders biggest struggles in the past seasons have come from the defense. Now, in free agency, the front office is making big moves to improve that side of the ball. Vegas Nation crew Cassie Soto and Myles Simmons bring you the latest in Raiders free agency.
Raiders make big free agency moves on offense - Video
The Raiders continue to make big moves on offense, including signing long-time Cowboy Jason Witten. Vegas Nation crew Cassie Soto and Myles Simmons bring you the latest in Raiders free agency.
Raiders and Cory Littleton agree to terms - VIDEO
Linebacker Cory Littleton, a 2018 Pro Bowler who played in Super Bowl 53 with the Los Angeles Rams, has agreed to terms with the Las Vegas Raiders. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marcus Mariota is a Raider - Video
The Raiders have signed quarterback Marcus Mariota as a backup to Derek Carr.
A Flyover of Allegiant Stadium At Night - VIDEO
Here's a look at the new home of the Raiders, Allegiant Stadium, at night from this flyover near the Las Vegas Strip.
Raiders Agree to Terms with Mariota, LB Kwiatkoski
A recap of the moves made as the NFL stays open for business transactions with unrestricted free agents being signed during the legal tampering period. The Raiders signed linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski and former Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota.  (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation: NFL Draft Canceled in Las Vegas, Legal Tampering Period Open - VIDEO
On Monday, the NFL announced the draft and its planned festivities would no longer take place in Las Vegas though the draft itself will still take place Apr. 23-25 as scheduled. The Raiders grabbed former Bears LB Nick Kwiatkoski in the first day of the legal tampering period. The Vegas Nation team breaks down the latest news in this update.(Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Love, Hurts Among QBs Raiders Could Target in NFL Draft - VIDEO
The Raiders may look to select a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft and have 5 picks in the top 100. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts and Utah State's Jordan Love could be among those the team has on their watchlist. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Stadium roof installation begins - Video
The first roof panels were installed at Allegiant Stadium earlier this week, marking the start of the final process of the structure being fully enclosed. The ETFE panel installation is expected to last through May.
Jon Gruden, Mark Davis defend Derek Carr - Video
With a week left until the NFL Free Agency period opens up, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and team owner Mark Davis were both asked about their quarterback Derek Carr. Rumors have been flying around that the team could be interested in replacing Carr with six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. Vegas Nation crew Cassie Soto and Myles Simmons discuss the quarterback situation.
Jon Gruden responds to questions about Tom Brady coming to Raiders - VIDEO
Raiders coach Jon Gruden answers John Katsilometes question about Tom Brady replacing Derek Carr as the Raiders quarterback at the Power of Love gala in Las Vegas on March 7, 2020.
Raiders stadium gets its new name installed
Aerial view of newly installed signage for Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders stadium gets its new name installed - VIDEO
Aerial view of newly installed signage for Allegiant Stadium, future home of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Allegiant Stadium sign installation (timelapse) - VIDEO
Watch the name of the new Raiders stadium in Las Vegas go up in less that a minute. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders owner Mark Davis on Tom Brady - VIDEO
A clip from the next episode of PodKats! with Raiders owner Mark Davis. Tune into the full episode which airs Monday March 16th.
Keep Memory Alive red carpet at Power of Love gala
Keep Memory Alive honored Neil Diamond at 24th annual Power of Love Gala and many stars were in attendance for the signature Las Vegas event.
Allegiant Stadium nears signage finish, adds sun logo and 't' - Video
Allegiant Stadium's exterior signage is one step closer to completion, with the Allegiant sun logo and the letter 't' being added on Saturday. Allegiant Stadium Insiders Cassie Soto and Mick Akers discuss the latest addition to the future home of the Raiders.
First signage going up at Allegiant Stadium - VIDEO
As Allegiant Stadium’s exterior has come into form, the dark tinted glass has drawn various nicknames. Now, however, the stadium will begin to reflect its official name. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Stadium Installation of stadium lights
Allegiant Stadium's roof nears completion with the installation of the stadium's lights
NFL combine spotlights key WRs for Raiders - Video
With the NFL combine over, teams can now get to the drawing board and decide which players they will add to their rosters at this year's NFL Draft. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and social media manager for the Las Vegas Review-Journal Adrian Aye-Darko discuss key wide receivers the Raiders could have eyes on.
Gruden discusses hiring Rod Marinelli as the Raiders defensive line coach
During a media session with reporters at the 2020 NFL Combine, Raiders' head coach Jon Gruden discussed what he thinks new defensive line coach Rod Marinelli brings to the team and how the players will benefit from him being there. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gruden says Carr is "a heck of a player" - VIDEO
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden discusses what he's seen out of wide receivers at the NFL Combine, his thoughts on quarterback Derek Carr's performance in 2019 and what his plans are for him in 2020.
Raiders sell and lease back headquarters - VIDEO
RJ reporter Eli Segall talks about the numbers behind the sale and lease back of the Raiders headquarters in Henderson and why businesses make these types of land grabs. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Oklahoma LB Murray says meeting with the Raiders went well - VIDEO
Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray said he met with the Las Vegas Raiders staff during the 2020 NFL scouting combine and that the meetings went well. LSU's Patrick Queen and Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun may also be prospects that the team could evaluate. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Faith Lutheran Product enjoying the NFL Combine Experience - VIDEO
Native Las Vegan John Molchon spoke to the Review-Journal about his experience at the NFL Combine, how his Faith Lutheran coaches prepared him to play on the offensive line at Boise State and what it's been like to see the city grow as it prepares to welcome the Las Vegas Raiders. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFL Combine, Day 2: Taylor's Inspiration, Vegas' Molchon on Raiders Coming to Town - VIDEO
Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor spoke about what players have inspired him in his consecutive 2000-yard rushing seasons. Boise State offensive lineman and Las Vegas native John Molchon talks about the Raiders coming to his hometown and how the city is growing with professional sports teams. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WR Ceedee Lamb promises to give Raiders all he has - VIDEO
Oklahoma wide receiver Ceedee Lamb confirmed that he has spoken with the Las Vegas Raiders and said he'd give them all he has if he is drafted by them. Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, who could be drafted by the Raiders at the no. 12 spot, also spoke to media at the 2020 NFL scouting combine on Tuesday. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders GM Mike Mayock on What Positions Need Improvement in 2020 - Video
At the 2020 NFL scouting combine, Raiders GM Mike Mayock discussed everything from how Antonio Brown left the team's wide receiver core without a key target, the upgrades the team needs on offense and defense, what he needs to do better as a general manager and what he saw out of the 2019 rookie class. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Stadium roof takes next step towards completion - Video
Safety netting is being laid across the stainless-steel cable net of Allegiant Stadium in preparation for the ETFE roof installation. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Stadium Insider Rick Velotta discuss the safety netting and the overall progress of the roof.
Allegiant Stadium roof continues to be key feature - Video
On Tuesday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal was given an updated tour of Allegiant Stadium. Seen on the tour, on the northeastern corner of the roof, was a tiny section of what eventually will be a 7-acre translucent plastic polymer roof.
Bird's eye view of Raiders facilities - Video
The Las Vegas Review-Journal's Mick Akers took a helicopter tour over Allegiant Stadium and the Raiders Henderson headquarters.
The Las Vegas Raiders give back - VIDEO
The Raiders are not even in Las Vegas yet but are already making a big impact on the community, giving out hundreds of hygiene kits to local vets and pledging $500,000 to eliminate school lunch debt in Nevada. (Le'Andre Fox and Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dana White fuels rumors of Tom Brady to Las Vegas Raiders - VIDEO
UFC president Dana White believes there is a real possibility he will be watching his good friend Tom Brady taking snaps for the Las Vegas Raiders from White’s suite at Allegiant Stadium next season. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders PSLs sold out
Raiders personal seat licenses for Allegiant Stadium have sold out. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST