By Mick Akers, The Las Vegas Review Journal, March 29, 2023
With the Super Bowl being the largest sporting event each year in the U.S., 2024 host Las Vegas will look to capitalize on the game beyond its traditional hoopla.
The economic impact of hosting Super Bowl LVIII, on top of visitors who already come to the city to watch the NFL title game at various resorts during any given year, is expected to be over $1 billion. The game will be played Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium.
In an effort to create a longer-lasting impact, Ryan Erwin, political consultant and founder of RedRock Strategies, is working in a volunteer capacity with the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee and Gov. Joe Lombardo’s office to host the Corporate Combine.
“We want to take the opportunity to take the eyes of the world … to use this as an opportunity to target businesses, target executives to bring them here,” Erwin said. “To use the Super Bowl as a hook to show off the wonderful things that Las Vegas and this community have to offer.”
The plan is to bring in select executives and business owners to Las Vegas where they’ll take part in a multiday event, featuring chalk talks and tours of various areas including residential, commercial and recreational, with the goal of linking companies with the resources they would need to relocate to the area. Those selected for the combine also will get a taste of the hospitality options in Southern Nevada and get to experience Super Bowl week, Las Vegas-style.
“We want to be on top of everybody’s list for when they think about where do I want to grow, expand or create my business,” said Erwin, who also chaired Lombardo’s transition team. “We want Las Vegas to be at the tip of everybody’s tongue for that.”
Details still in works
Although there are some industries in mind, such as sports, technology and manufacturing, the combine will be open to any company that fits within the vision and growth plan in the state.
The exact details of the program are still being developed and will be released at a later date, according to Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Sam Joffray.
“It’s going to be hyper-targeted toward businesses that we know will be a good fit for Nevada,” Joffray said. “That we know are qualified or are looking to expand its business and set up a headquarters. We’re going to use Super Bowl weekend to close those deals or start those negotiations.”
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is poised to assist the effort, with its deep relationships with various gaming companies and other industry heads in Southern Nevada.
“Obviously I’ve got a passion about economic development as well as the tourism and hospitality industry,” said Steve Hill, president and CEO of the LVCVA.
Building on the attention spurred by the Super Bowl to showcase what Las Vegas offers for businesses marks a “great opportunity,” he said.
“When you can bring companies to town and have a reason to bring them like the Super Bowl and then show them around the community, find out what their needs are and what the opportunities are in Vegas and see if we can make that match, it’s terrific and is one of the best ways we have in showcasing Las Vegas,” Hill said.
‘Create a blueprint’
The hope is that the Corporate Combine will carry on the legacy of Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas for years after hosting next year’s game.
“We want to create a blueprint that serves as the guideline for any major event for Las Vegas,” Erwin said. “For Formula One, if we end up with the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the NBA All-Star Game, any major event that comes here, how do we use that to turn that into economic development around this community.”