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Raiders players, coaches excited about Super Bowl in Las Vegas

Updated December 15, 2021 - 9:03 pm

John Simpson knows it will be a massive party when the Super Bowl comes to Las Vegas, even though that’s not really his scene.

The Raiders’ starting left guard hopes the event can also showcase the parts of the city he has come to love since he was drafted out of Clemson in 2020.

“I enjoy Vegas a lot,” he said. “I do a lot of hiking, so I don’t spend too much time on the Strip. That’s not really my thing, but I definitely love the city. It’s done a lot for me, and I think having the Super Bowl come here is going to open up a lot of eyes to the city and show there’s a lot of things we can do here.”

The game, which is really more of a week-long NFL experience, will be coming to Allegiant Stadium in February 2024.

While the Raiders certainly hope to be playing in the game as hosts, they are far more concerned with trying to beat Cleveland on Saturday.

“It’s exciting, but that’s in 2024,” defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins said. “I think it’s great for the city. It’s huge, really. But 2024 is a while away, so we’ll see.”

In an industry with so much turnover, it’s not even clear how many of the Raiders’ players or coaches will be around when the Super Bowl finally rolls around.

Still, there is excitement among those in the organization about what it will mean for the Raiders when it finally happens.

“That is so great,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “This city, I’ve been here a short time and the energy it has just amazes me. There’s always something going on. It’s such a vibrant city. It’s so awesome, that part of it. To have a Super Bowl, you can imagine the atmosphere that will be here and the people it will draw in.”

Once Allegiant Stadium was built, it was only a matter of time before Las Vegas was going to host the Super Bowl. Still, it’s a major moment for the city that will only further enhance its growing reputation as a sports capital.

It’s also another step in the evolution of Las Vegas from a vacation destination in the desert to a thriving metropolis.

Offensive coordinator Greg Olson has been impressed by the speed of that process.

“It’s going to be awesome,” he said. “We have the Pro Bowl here as well, obviously. … The growth here in Vegas just in the two years we’ve been here has been amazing. For anyone that’s just been here the last couple of years to just see the growth in the city, it’s pretty exciting.”

The game isn’t until Feb. 11, 2024, but the countdown begins now.

“This place is already booming,” Simpson said. “I think that will bring a whole lot of people to town.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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