TQ Takes: Super Bowl LVIII an Opportunity to Showcase Why Las Vegas is a Great Place to do Business

When Super Bowl LVIII rushes into town this February, it’s expected to bring more than 450,000 tourists and an economic impact approaching $799 million.

And, if we play our cards right, the event’s economic impact could extend well beyond the big game weekend.

LVGEA and our municipalities are partnering with the Super Bowl Host Committee, Howard Hughes Corporation, the Governor’s Office, chambers of commerce, UNLV, and several private sector companies to recruit a targeted group of top-business leaders during Super Bowl weekend, by showcasing why Las Vegas is a great place to live and do business, not just to visit.  By “red zoning” the region’s effort to focus on invitees who may gain from the community’s competitive advantage and what it could offer their businesses, Las Vegas and its residents stand to benefit. Touchdown.

This effort comes in the form of LOCATE, or Local Opportunity Collaborative Advancing Transformative Economic Development, a coalition of stakeholders committed to working with the entire community to find field advantages to support economic diversification by making the most of the community’s major events.

Recognizing that Las Vegas remains among the least diversified economies of its size, LOCATE’s focus is on a diversity of industries that can add depth and new dimensions to the community’s economic profile. It will also focus on companies that are a good fit for the region, meaning companies that bring high-wage jobs, and have limited impacts on our resources.

And this work is already gaining momentum.

Operating under the support system of LVGEA, a new 501c3 is being formed called LOCATE Now, which seeks to raise funds from public and private sector supporters for the purpose of collaborating with major sporting events, conventions, and conferences to showcase a diverse array of the community’s assets over the course of several days. Invitees will spend time in our neighborhoods, learn about doing business in Nevada, and meet our community leaders. Private sector funds will support a portion of game day activities with the public sector funds supporting non-game day activities.

Hosting business executives during major events to promote economic development is not a new concept, and we have our neighbors in Arizona to study from. In 2015, the Arizona Commerce Authority hosted 60 companies when it hosted the Super Bowl XLIX. Of those 60 companies, 20 of them expanded their operations in Arizona, creating 18,000 jobs. Building on that success, the Authority hosted 70 corporate CEOs at the Super Bowl LVII earlier this year.

While LOCATE is using the Super Bowl as a launching point, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential economic development opportunities in Las Vegas. Events like Formula 1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix and international soccer matches have global appeal, and major concerts and other sporting events such as the 2028 NCAA Men’s Final Four Basketball Tournament create opportunities well into the future to draw decision makers to the region.

Historically, our region has done a great job selling Las Vegas as a tourist destination. Now it is time to leverage that success as a tool to highlight why it’s a great place to live, work, and do business. Super Bowl LVIII offers an unparalleled opportunity to make a positive impression on business leaders when it comes to our region’s quality of life, and we would be remiss if we didn’t take it.