Study: Las Vegas bet on sports and entertainment paying off Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports · November 30, 2018 at 12:05 am Las Vegas’ bet on sports and entertainment is paying dividends by attracting visitors and boosting its economy, according to a report released Thursday. The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance commissioned the “Southern Nevada Sports & Entertainment Outlook,” that was released at a conference sponsored by the organization and the UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research. More than 400 business and community leaders attended the conference at Park MGM. In Southern Nevada in 2017, visitor spending reached $35 billion, of which 7.3 percent or $2.5 billion, took place within the sports and entertainment industry. The total visitor economic impact of those attending events at sports and large-scale entertainment venues have averaged more than $3.9 billion in 2016 and 2017, according to the study. The same number was $3.4 billion in 2015 – before the opening of T-Mobile Arena – and $2.99 billion in 2013. T-Mobile Arena opened in 2016 and was the top grossing arena in the world in ticket sales with $164 million in a 12-month period ending in June 2018, ahead of Madison Square Garden in New York City and O2 Arena in London, the study said. The 20,000-seat arena’s events include the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, concerts, UFC, championship boxing matches and college basketball tournaments. Las Vegas has 12 venues and arenas with a combined seating for 260,000 people, including 123,000 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway that opened in 1996. Stadium and arena capacity will grow to 352,000 in 15 venues by 2020 with the opening of the Las Vegas Ballpark (10,000), which will be the home of the city’s triple-A baseball team, MSG Sphere at the Venetian Arena (18,000) and the $1.8 billion, 65,000-seat Las Vegas Stadium, which be the home of the NFL’s Raiders when the team relocates from Oakland. The study said the visitor spending impact reflects the total importance of the venues, but stated people would come to Las Vegas regardless. The best estimate is that 28 percent of those visitors would be considered incremental, the study cited. That incremental impact approached $1.1 billion in 2016 and 2017, up from $824 million in 2013. With the opening of three more facilities by 2020, the study said the incremental impact would grow to $1.45 billion. That’s beyond the 59 percent of all visitors said they would have attended entertainment activities during their trip regardless, the study said. “There is a significant amount of research indicating the sports and entertainment are not only things that visitors do while they are in Las Vegas but, in many cases, are the reason they choose to come to Las Vegas,” the study said. As an example, the study cited the August 2017 welterweight matchup between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC champion Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena. The media exposure for Las Vegas associated with the event was valued in excess of $700 million. The event generated roughly $150.9 million in incremental economic impact that included hotel accommodations, dining, shopping, gambling and transportation. It was responsible for $19.4 million in salaries and wages and about $7 million in tax revenue. “The value of that experience, from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave matters,” according to the study. “Las Vegas is already benefiting from incremental travel decisions based on special events and sporting events with throngs of opposing teams’ fans visible at Vegas Golden Knights games and out-of-state Raiders fans buying up large blocks of season tickets.” The diversity of special events in Southern Nevada is what allows the local venues to continue to draw out-of-town visitors to the area, the study noted. It cited a profile study from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority that showed 6 percent of the approximately 43 million visitors that come to Las Vegas have the primary purpose of attending a special event. Las Vegas has attracted such events as USA Sevens Rugby, the NBA Summer League, National Finals Rodeo, Pac 12 conference basketball tournament and other tournaments from smaller conferences. The city is also seeking to host the Super Bowl and NFL Draft – after Las Vegas Stadium opens – and the NCAA Men’s Basketball’s Final Four and other tournament regional games. “Securing these future events while also continuing to develop and grow existing events is a vital component in the future success of Southern Nevada’s tourism industry,” the study said. The Electric Daisy Carnival brings in the most out of town visitors at 125,000. That was followed by 105,000 at the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show. Bowling championships at the South Point Hotel and Casino bring in 96,000 visitors followed by 73,000 at the annual NASCAR race in the spring. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon brings in 54,000. The NBA Summer League brings in 34,000 of the total attendance of 133,000. The study noted that the impact from the three uncompleted stadiums is large for Southern Nevada. Their development costs are estimated to approach $3 billion, which provides a significant one-time boost to the economy supporting jobs. In 2017, an estimated 18,000 direct positions and 28,600 aggregate jobs were supported by the sports and entertainment industry.