Source: NFL Draft Will Shut Down Traffic On Vegas Strip During Event
This year's NFL Draft is "expected to produce the most significant closure" of Las Vegas Boulevard to date, as the Strip "would be shut down to vehicle traffic the three days of the draft, April 23-25, to accommodate an expected 400,000 or more attendees," according to a source cited by Mick Akers of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. The question that "still lingers is where exactly it will be held." The Bellagio is "currently the frontrunner to stage the main event." Staging the Draft in front of the Bellagio "would result in rolling closures of the Strip over roughly 20 days while the NFL is setting up and tearing down the draft stage." Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority President & CEO Steve Hill and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell indicated that "multiple Vegas icons would be showcased." A source said that the Caesars Forum convention center, which opens in March, "will serve as a focal point." Another source said that the NFL Fan Zone "could be located near the Westin Las Vegas at Flamingo near Koval Lane." Hill said that he "expects more than 600,000 people to jam the city for the draft, which will likely produce the strongest April visitation in history" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 1/18).
ACCESS DENIED: In Las Vegas, Anderson & Velotta noted the Raiders are "not ceding ground when it comes to granting UNLV's football team access to Allegiant Stadium the first two Saturdays in September." UNLV has games scheduled against Louisiana Tech on Sept. 5 and Arizona State on Sept. 12. Unless the sides "resolve the issue," those games "probably will be played at Sam Boyd Stadium instead of Allegiant." Raiders President Marc Badain said, "Right now, we're saving that availability for Raiders games. We may need it for concerts and other events" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 1/18).