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Raiders, Las Vegas pass on bidding to host NFL combine

Updated July 16, 2021 - 11:19 am

Though the NFL scouting combine is set to leave Indianapolis and be staged in different cities, the Raiders and the area’s tourism agency aren’t interested in bringing the event to Southern Nevada.

Raiders President Marc Badain said that while the combine is an opportunity for teams to scout future prospects, it’s not a major draw for visitors. Concerts or other one-off sporting events that could be held at Allegiant Stadium would likely draw more tourists to Las Vegas.

“There are probably markets that are better served for that time of year for the duration of the event and it really didn’t make sense for us to put a bid in if it wasn’t going to match what we wanted to bring to Las Vegas,” Badain said.

The combine has been held in Indianapolis since 1987 but will be held in a new city after next year’s event. The NFL announced last month that it would open bidding to teams to host the combine starting with the 2023 event in an effort to grow its marquee events with new markets.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Steve Hill, who is also chairman of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, discussed the possibility of bidding to host the combine with Badain, which ultimately led them to decide they would pass.

“The events we go after are intended to fill big venues,” Hill said. “The combine certainly draws people to Indianapolis, but it doesn’t draw them at the scale that would engage the LVCVA on that.”

The NFL also awards other events like the Super Bowl, the NFL Draft and Pro Bowl through a bidding process. Las Vegas and the Raiders are set to host two of those marquee events next year — the draft and the Pro Bowl — with hopes that the Super Bowl is the next domino to fall in Southern Nevada’s direction.

The 2024 Super Bowl is up for bidding and the Raiders and the LVCVA have submitted a bid for Las Vegas.

“We’ve provided the information that they asked for and we continue to work with them and we haven’t had a (NFL) meeting since May, so I don’t really have an update from there,” Badain said. “The next meeting is in October, so that’s probably the next time we’ll get an update.”

Hill said he gets the sense that the host city for the 2024 Super Bowl will be announced before the end of the year.

“We’re getting pretty close to ‘24, so the NFL has owners’ meetings in both October and December and hopefully we’ll hear something by the time we get to one of those meetings,” Hill said.

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

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