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Las Vegas’ 2022 NFL Draft means jobs for workers, millions in Strip spending

Jobs for event workers, technicians after inconsistent two years of events
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 7:36 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - With more than half a million people expected to arrive in Las Vegas in just a few weeks for the 2022 NFL Draft, money will make its way into the bank accounts of thousands of local live events workers. These industry professionals have faced much inconsistency in recent years due to the pandemic.

With NFL Draft venues slated for the state-of-the-art Caesars Forum and iconic Bellagio fountains, fans from around the world are thrilled for the event.

No group is more eager, however, than the thousands of local Las Vegans who put on these events for a living.

“We’ve got the manpower. We’ve got the knowledge. We’ve got the skillset, and somebody can literally show up and go, ‘We need 400 people.’ We’ll send out 400 people tomorrow!” said Phil Jaynes, local president of IATSE 720, a labor union for entertainment work.

Jaynes said this is one of the biggest events to take place since the start of the pandemic. This, he said, is something that holds a lot of symbolism and reason for optimism.

“It’s kind of like a...it’s a little benchmark,” Jaynes said.

It also symbolizes a hopeful return of consistent work for stagehands.

He said the NFL Draft will provide a lot of jobs for locals.

“You start with a blank slate... a parking lot...and you gotta fill it in!” Jaynes said. “We do a lot of events like this, but you know when you add the NFL, it really ramps it up.”

Jaynes said he isn’t yet sure how many IATSE 720 members will be recruited to work , but provided a ballpark estimate: “I can tell you it’s probably a couple hundred.”

And that’s just his union alone. FOX5 is waiting on a response from the Teamsters Local 631, as well.

“We got Cinemacon coming in, we got National Association of Broadcasters happening at the same time,” Jaynes said

With all this work on the horizon, IATSE said their membership pool has grown at a faster pace than ever in the last three months.

“During the pandemic, we had three large resorts or facilities open up: Allegiant Stadium, Resorts World, and the Caesars Forum, the convention space. These are facilities that we did not have prior to the pandemic, so that’s just more square footage and more events that we get to work,” Jaynes said.

Aside from job creation from the event, experts predict visitor spending will have an impact too.

In 2019, the draft in Nashville attracted a record 600,000 people, who spent nearly $133 million, as the Tennessean reported. The previous record was in 2018 in Dallas, which generated $74 million.