Allegiant Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Las Vegas.
It also marked the latest success for the lineup of concerts and special events at the 65,000-seat venue where performances exceed projections made before its $1.9 billion construction, calming naysayers who doubted a public investment of $750 million is a good idea.
“I received quite a bit of flak while doing the analysis of the economic and fiscal impact of the Allegiant Stadium,” Jeremy Aguero, former Las Vegas-based director of Applied Analysis, told the Las Vegas Review. -Newspaper. He is now Director of Operations and Analytics for the Las Vegas Raiders.
When Aguero was advising the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee and later the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, officials cautiously suggested that financial needs could be met if the stadium could host about 46 events per year, including the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. and UNLV college football games.
ROOM TAX PROJECTIONS
This was based on the assumption that hotel occupancy rates and the average daily room rate at which a 0.88% room tax would be levied would remain stable.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on occupancy and room rates, the successes of Allegiant Stadium event programming have been undeniable.
“Here I am now five years on the other side of that and I think we are far exceeding, at least initially, any estimates we had. It is just amazing to be a part of this,” Aguero said.
Early room tax revenue projections suggested that the bonds could be repaid and a cascading fund to pay for other expenses could be created if between $4 million and $5 million in room tax were collected each year. month.
When the tax started, it was relatively easy to generate $4 million a month.
But two years ago, when hotels and their casinos were closed by COVID-19 restrictions, tax collections plummeted and Clark County had to dip into a reserve fund to repay bonds.
It wasn’t until July 2021 — the second full month after resorts fully reopened — that room tax collections began to top the $4 million level.
In the last six months of 2021, council tax collections averaged $4.1 million per month, a sign that visits were on the road to recovery.
PROJECT 46 EVENTS
Steve Hill, who has worked with Aguero as chairman of the infrastructure committee and the Las Vegas Stadium Authority and is president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said the 46-event screening was a conservative piece.
“We thought those 46 events would attract 1.9 million people,” Hill said. “We’re well ahead of that pace and the number of people coming to Las Vegas because of stadium events seems to be at least double what we expected when we modeled the stadium five years ago.
“I would have expected it to surpass our projections,” he said. “We said then that we thought we were relatively conservative, but we didn’t think we would be 45 per cent of what actually happened, that’s for sure.”
Much of the success of Allegiant Stadium’s entertainment programming comes from strong bookings of talent capable of filling a large number of seats.
Booking country star Garth Brooks for the first big gig at Allegiant was a no-brainer. So did the Rolling Stones for a sold-out show in November. More recently, the stadium scored again by bringing in Metallica and pianist Billy Joel – back-to-back nights in February.
But perhaps the biggest hit was scheduling two bands for multiple nights in the venue, BTS for four nights in April and Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny for two nights in September.
“I had heard of it,” Hill gushed about BTS, who are taking their “Permission to Dance on Stage” tour to Allegiant on April 8, 9, 15, and 16.
BTS sold out all four pre-sale shows within an hour and a half.
“They caused a stir in Korea and then they got out of Korea and became a big international problem,” Hill said. “It’s not that I have all the music from all the bands that are going to be at the stadium on my playlist, but yeah, we had heard about it.
“They’ve been a big hit for the past two years. I never expected they could come to the stadium for four nights and sell out for four nights. That’s quite an achievement for any band, no matter what. it doesn’t matter who they are and how popular, famous, or what they’ve accomplished in their career.If you can sell four nights, that’s remarkable.
Aguero said 86% of people who attended an event at Allegiant Stadium said they wouldn’t have come to Las Vegas if not for the event they attended.
“Over a million people came to an event at Allegiant Stadium,” he said. “That includes one person from every state in the United States and 91 separate countries of origin. And that’s only been since July.”
Stadium programming is under the direction of Allegiant Stadium General Manager Chris Wright, who left Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena in 2019. Wright credits his team and Las Vegas attributes with some of the stadium’s early success.
“It’s an amazing city with so many entertainment options,” Wright said of Las Vegas. “It’s a great destination with a large domestic market supporting events, but then you have the added appeal of people coming to Las Vegas as a destination for what’s playing here.”
Wright has a strong relationship with the Raiders and credits the team with reaching out to its fans, Raider Nation, for assistance in filling the building for concerts in addition to the team’s home games.
He said his strategy was to keep in touch with artist agents doing stadium tours and negotiate dates with them as they traveled from town to town.
Wright said it was helpful that most performers like to stop off in Las Vegas, and Allegiant Stadium’s reputation as a venue with relatively easy access to staging grew.
The stadium designers, knowing that Allegiant would be a concert hall in addition to a football stadium, constructed widened access points inside the building for easier access and unloading of large machinery in order to build a stage for a concert stop.
“Artists want to come here,” Wright said.
The stadium also has valuable partners in sports, tourism and resorts, he said.
“Look at LVCVA for example. They’re looking for destination events, whether it’s football or rugby or whatever. They’re just a great partner to help market events,” Wright said. “Casino properties are also great partners. They help us market events and attract upcoming things to Las Vegas.
“When it’s on a scale that fits the stadium, it fits perfectly. There are so many artists today looking at stadium dates in 22. Having all these great partners means we leverage and maximize the share of those events that we get.”
Resorts are eager to collaborate as they see an increase in hotel bookings and casino games whenever a special event is booked in town, and regardless if the event is not taking place in their own performance halls.
Alan Feldman, a prominent member of the International Gaming Institute at UNLV and a former executive at MGM Resorts International, said Allegiant Stadium as a venue is not considered a competition because the scale does not is not close to the various bullrings of the city.
“That was probably the only missing piece of the Las Vegas entertainment profile,” Feldman said of the Allegiant addition. “It was a major talking point back when we were talking to community leaders, state legislators and county commissioners about the need for this.
“We had arenas, we had the Thomas & Mack, we had the Orleans, we had the MGM Grand (Garden). All of that was before T-Mobile (Arena),” Feldman said. “We already knew what the booking pressure was on these kinds of arenas, but until then we were really out of the running for big gigs unless we just wanted to bite the bullet and pay the price to get a gig. of the Rolling Stones to enter the MGM Grand. We only had 18,000 seats, but they were going to need 60,000 to 70,000 seats.
With the addition of Allegiant Stadium to the Las Vegas landscape, multiple events can take place over the same weekend, he said.
“It works better overall for the community for two reasons,” Feldman said. “It marks a huge event over the weekend. You can build an entire weekend around one event at Allegiant. It also frees up time in those other arenas. So just like you can have Billy Joel at Allegiant, you can have a (Vegas Golden) Knights on T-Mobile. You’re starting to have this tiered lineup, and from a community perspective, it’s like accelerating what’s happening here.”
Feldman said he’s not surprised that BTS is selling out quickly, but he noted that the group’s fanbase may not be as casino-friendly, as BTS’s fanbase is younger. than the legal age to gamble in Nevada. But because it’s at Allegiant and not in a real estate arena, it works well.
“Unless some parents come in with some confidence that you’re going to incorporate adults instead of 19 and 20 year olds, this may or may not be the biggest event to have on a property,” he mentioned. “But having it at Allegiant?” Perfect.