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Super Bowl kicks off long before game day; agencies fatigued by special events, says Kirkpatrick

Credit: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau

Dana Gentry, Nevada Current
January 16, 2024

The first Super Bowl to be held in Las Vegas will be accompanied by more than 200 ancillary events, including the NFL-sanctioned beginning opening night festivities on Feb. 5, scheduled at the hosting stadium for the first time in the event’s 58-year history. 

“We bring in the two Super Bowl participating teams, open it to fans, and they have media availability at the stadium on Monday night,” said Katie Keenan, senior director of live events for the NFL. 

That’s followed Wednesday, Feb. 7 by the opening of the Super Bowl Experience at Mandalay Bay Convention Center, described as a “football fan festival…”

The happenings are the latest in a series of sports-related mega events that have police, firefighters, transportation officials and others working overtime to plan, coordinate and execute. 

“It’s who we are now,” Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick said at Tuesday’s commission meeting, noting Southern Nevada’s social calendar, previously peppered with special events, is filling up and it’s taxing government agencies. 

“Now it’s once a week that we do all these things and I think that going forward for the next budget, we really need to look at putting a special events departments together. Maybe we have to look at a fee that directly goes to some of our social services that are being impacted, as well, once these events come.” 

Kirkpatrick said a number of agencies are overwhelmed. 

“We’re having the same conversation at the (Southern Nevada) Health District. I’m sure Metro is having the same conversation. The rest of the community has got to keep going,” Kirkpatrick said. “We still need our roads paved. We still need policing in our district. We still need the Health District to work.”

Asked by the Current whether a special events fee would cover the cost of a new department, Kirkpatrick responded via text “We are not there yet.” 

Super Bowl officials updated commissioners on plans for managing traffic around Allegiant Stadium, about hundreds of shuttles and buses scheduled to transport staff and fans, and of plans for a post-game ride-share hub at Mandalay Bay. Details of traffic plans and street closures along with other event information for ticket holders can be found on the NFL’s OnePass app.  

Clark County intends to distribute information for residents in the coming weeks and the NFL is compiling information on its website. 

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This article is republished from Nevada Current under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.