Las Vegas went from a sports pariah to hosting Super Bowl 58

Once known mainly for gambling and debauchery, Las Vegas has gained professional sports teams with the National Football League, the National Hockey League, Women’s National Basketball Association and the United Soccer League in under a decade.

And a Major League Baseball team is on the way.

But that’s not all. The broad developments in Sin City also include premier experiences such as a multibillion-dollar Formula 1 race, a $2.3 billion entertainment venue called the Sphere and the upcoming Super Bowl 58 on Sunday.

“We’re not really concerned about our supply of fun being more than the United States or the world can handle,” said Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Steve Hill in August 2023, ahead of the city’s inaugural F1 race. “We’re going to keep adding to that, and we’re confident that people around the globe are going to continue to come,” he added. 

Allegiant Stadium, where the Super Bowl will be played, has spurred change. The $2 billion venue was built for the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders and opened in 2020. It holds a capacity of 65,000 people. This has allowed the city to host events of major magnitude, such as sold-out Beyoncé and Taylor Swift concerts in 2023, and now, the biggest U.S. sporting event of the year. 

“It’s not just that the NFL’s here, which is fantastic and a recognition of the maturity of Las Vegas,” said Hill. “We’re having 50 events a year at Allegiant Stadium, and they’re all huge.”

Allegiant Stadium brought 1.52 million incremental visitors to the area, according to the 2023 impact report by the Las Vegas Raiders, with 88% of those visitors saying it was “the primary reason for their visit.”

The report says the stadium’s total economic impact exceeds $2.29 billion. 

In 2023, 40.8 million visitors flocked to Las Vegas, up 5.2% from the prior year, though still not as high as pre-pandemic levels. 

Tourists weren’t the only people taking note. Thousands of businesses, job seekers and homebuyers have relocated to the region because of its unique opportunities.  

“Las Vegas has overcome its Sin City attitude or behavior pattern, or at least the belief system that it is, and it has moved more toward a very safe, desirable city to live in with reasonable costs,” said Eric Fernwood, the co-founder of Fernwood Real Estate Investment Group.

Still, experts say some challenges lay ahead for this desert city if it wants to continue growing, such as climate change, water scarcity and more funding for social programs including child care.

Watch this video to learn more.

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