LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) — This weekend, Las Vegas becomes the first city to host two All-Star Games in the same weekend. He brought the stars of the NHL and NFL, and with him thousands of sports fans.
“It really enters into us as a sports mecca,” said Amanda Belarmino, a professor at UNLV Hospitality. “Something we always knew we could be, but we didn’t have the opportunity before the Golden Knights.”
Belarmino, a hospitality and revenue management expert, said this weekend was a chance for Las Vegas to prove itself as a host city.
“For sport, a successful weekend means we can host future events. We can do things that go beyond what we have done in the past,” Belarmino said.
Belarmino said a safe weekend, and a weekend without a major COVID-19 outbreak could signal the return of conventions to Las Vegas.
It’s a big week in store for gaming and sports fans who have filled hotel rooms and restaurants. Outside of the Pro Bowl and NHL All-Star festivities, they’ll also be spending money in other ways.
Las Vegas hosted the 2007 NBA All-Star weekend. The game was a success, but what surrounded it was a lot of crime. Tommy Urbanski was paralyzed in a shooting after an NBA game. Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman called it a disastrous weekend.
Belarmino said the previous stigma of sports betting prevented Las Vegas from hosting major sporting events in the past, but now that it’s legalized in many states, that’s no longer the case. She sees this as a test for the Super Bowl in 2024 and other future events.
“Show what we can do,” she said. “Vegas has the ability to put on these events that other cities just don’t have.”
The NHL All-Star Game takes place on Saturday, Feb. 5 at T-Mobile Arena and the weekend concludes with the NFL Pro Bowl at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 6.
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