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Sisolak touts Las Vegas’ pro sports explosion in new TV ad

As November’s gubernatorial election nears, Gov. Steve Sisolak is turning to sports to help his re-election bid.

A new television advertisement debuting Thursday night during the Raiders versus Jacksonville Jaguars preseason opener highlights all the professional sports events that Sisolak has played a role in landing in Southern Nevada.

Sisolak is running against Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, the Republican nominee.

The ad features Sisolak listing the Raiders, Aces, Golden Knights and the Formula One as some of the major sports teams and events to land since he’s been in office, first as a Clark County commissioner and then as governor.

“They’re more than just sports, they’re creating jobs,” Sisolak says in the 30-second ad. “And pumping billions into Nevada. For schools, roads and hospitals.”

The governor’s office noted pro sports in Southern Nevada has generated $3 billion in economic impact and revenue. Aside from the economic impact, pro sports has led to the creation of 7,170 jobs, his office said.

Allegiant Stadium’s website notes the annual economic benefit of the facility is anticipated to be $620 million. The $2 billion stadium was built in part with a $750 million public contribution, by way of a 0.88 percent tax on hotel rooms in Clark County.

Public support

Pro sports teams have been well-supported during their tenure in Las Vegas.

The Raiders had an average paid attendance of 61,185 at home games last season, generating $119 million, tops in the NFL. Each game drew a ton of out-of-state visitors, with as high as 50 percent of the crowd hailing from outside of Nevada.

While the Golden Knights averaged 16,857 fans at T-Mobile Arena during the 2021-22 regular season, good enough for fifth in the NHL, according to ESPN data. The WNBA’s Aces are in the midst of a potential title push. Last season the team saw an average crowd of 3,127 fans, the second highest in the WNBA, according to Statista data.

Aside from teams, major sports events also have become a regular occurrence in Las Vegas, with many more to come.

The 2022 NFL Pro Bowl and NHL All Star game were held during the same weekend in February. Following that the NFL Draft drew more than 300,000 fans over the three-day event in late April.

Last month more than 135,000 fans took in the NBA Summer League at UNLV, generating an estimated $125 million economic impact.

Coming up

Looking ahead 2023 will begin a multi-year run of hosting the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix. Set for a yet-to-be-announced weekend in November, the three days of racing action on the Las Vegas Strip is expected to have a $1 billion economic impact.

The Super Bowl is slated to occur at Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 11, 2024, which will lead to a week’s worth of events leading up to the “Big Game.” U.S. sport’s biggest spectacle is estimated to draw thousands of visitors, leaving a $500 million mark on Southern Nevada.

Clark County Commissioner and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board member Michael Naft said last week sporting events are now the No. 2 reason visitors are planning trips to Las Vegas. He expects sports to soon become the top reason people come to Southern Nevada for a getaway.

Las Vegas’ pro sports roster is likely to grow in the near future. The Oakland Athletics are exploring relocation to Clark County, Major League Soccer is looking at expansion here and plans for an NBA-ready arena on south Las Vegas Boulevard will only sweeten the pot for potential expansion of basketball’s top league.

That highlights what Sisolak noted about pro sports in the Las Vegas Valley at the end of his campaign ad, “We’re just getting started.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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