All-Star weekend success could bring more major sports events to Las Vegas

NHL All-Star skill competition "Fountain Face-off"
NHL All-Star skill competition "Fountain Face-off"(NHL)
Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 11:32 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - This weekend Las Vegas becomes the first city to host two All-Star games in the same weekend. It’s brought the NHL and NFL stars, and with it thousands of sports fans.

“It really enters us as a sports mecca,” UNLV Hospitality professor Amanda Belarmino said. “Something we always knew we could be, but we didn’t have the opportunity until the Golden Knights.”

Belarmino, a hospitality and revenue management expert, said this weekend is a chance for Las Vegas to prove itself as a host city.

“For sports, a successful weekend is going to mean we can host future events. We can do things that go beyond things we’ve done in the past,” Belarmino said.

Belarmino said a safe weekend, and one without a major COVID-19 outbreak could signal the comeback of conventions in Las Vegas.

It’s a predicted big week for gaming and sports fans have filled hotel rooms and restaurants. Outside of the Pro Bowl and NHL All-Star festivities, they’ll be spending money in other ways too.

Las Vegas hosted NBA All-Star weekend 2007. The game was a success, but what surrounded it was lots of crime. Tommy Urbanski was paralyzed in a shooting following NBA game. Former mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman called it a disastrous weekend.

Belarmino said the previous stigma on sports betting held Las Vegas back from getting major sporting events in the past, but now that it’s legalized in many states that is no longer the case. She considers this a test run for the Super Bowl in 2024 and other future events.

“Show what we can do,” she said. “Vegas has the capacity to hold these events that other cities just don’t have.”

The NHL All-Star game is Saturday, Feb5 at T-Mobile arena, and the weekend is capped off with the NFL Pro Bowl at Allegiant Stadium Sunday, Feb. 6.