The NFL Draft’s next stop is Las Vegas, and the word by the NFL is that the event will be held on “Las Vegas Boulevard and Surrounding Areas”.
But given the success of Nashville’s NFL Draft, which was the league’s largest footprint and generated the most visitors and revenue, and the Chicago version, which was so nice, they did it twice in 2015 and 2016, Las Vegas would do better to copy the formula established by those great NFL cities: have the Draft largely in one area.
In the case of Nashville, the NFL managed to control an area that consisted of 32 blocks in Downtown Nashville, and Nissan Stadium across the river. In the case of Chicago, the NFL had the entire lake front park, including Buckingham Fountain. In both cases, the main formula that worked was the NFL Draft was focused in a large area.
Las Vegas’ idea of having the NFL Draft in “surrounding areas” reads like someone’s trying to make everyone happy. And you know what they say: try to make everyone happy and no one is happy. Period.
The central and only place for the NFL Draft should be an area defined Las Vegas Convention Center and the parking areas to either side of the Monorail stop. The NFL Experience could be in the Central Hall, with the main stage in the outdoors area where, at CES Las Vegas (which I’ve covered for 10 years) the Gibson Guitar Company and Google would set up. In all, taking in the South Parking Area, there’s enough room to fit every aspect of the NFL Draft, from the Red Carpet to the interview rooms, all right there and form a kind of campus in the process.
Spreading Out The NFL Draft In Las Vegas Would Be A Disaster
Again, spreading out the NFL Draft in Las Vegas would be a disaster. The Draft works best, and has worked best, when the league has been able to control a large space, and with only a handful of events away from it.