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No Super Bowl, no problem: Raiders hoping to host draft in Vegas early as 2020

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NFL: NFL Draft Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

While the news that the Raiders stadium in Las Vegas likely won’t be an option for a Super Bowl until 2025 at the earliest is disappointing, the Super Bowl is not the only big NFL event worth hosting. The NFL draft is also a huge tourist attraction and with the NFL now moving it to different locations each year it’s perfect for Las Vegas.

Hosting the draft hasn’t escaped Raiders president Marc Badain’s attention either, he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he expects to be in the running for hosting it sooner rather than later. The draw of Vegas as a worldwide tourist hub makes it perfect to hold big events like the NFL Draft or the Super Bowl so it’s only a matter of time before they are utilized for their hosting abilities on a regular basis.

“I think (the league is) excited about the opportunity, whether it happens in ‘19 or ‘20 or even beyond that,” Raiders president Marc Badain said about hosting the NFL Draft. “I think they understand what this market can do, what this market can deliver on.

“In addition to all the other events that have gone here over the years, they’ve seen what’s going on with the hockey team, the Golden Knights. So I think all of those questions about Las Vegas’ ability to be a good host or to be a sports city are in the rearview mirror.”

The 2019 NFL Draft host city is expected to be announced after the spring Owners Meetings with all signs pointing to Nashville. The next year after that will be the one to look for Las Vegas to be a key player with the stadium scheduled to open for the 2020 season.

The draft would be a great opportunity for the NFL to introduce itself to Vegas, and if anybody deserves a reward for their financial investment it’s the state of Nevada. Pretty sure investing almost a billion dollars to bring an NFL franchise to town is worth a little recognition from the league.

Why not open the doors to the new stadium with the bright lights and high profile of the biggest draft event in professional sports? It’d be foolish not to give Vegas the draft for their inaugural season, the timing is just too perfect to resist.