Las Vegas Emerges as a Sports and Innovation Powerhouse

The world of sports is coming to Las Vegas. And it doesn’t stop.

In just a few months, Sin City will have hosted Super Bowl LVIII (February 11), a Formula 1 race (November 18) and the home games of the reigning champions, the NHL Golden Knights and the Aces. the WNBA. . The Ultimate Fighting Championship is growing in influence and baseball’s Oakland A’s are on the way, as is a presumed NBA franchise. The city will host the NCAA Final Four games in 2028.

The Jewel of Las Vegas is a $10 billion project expected to be completed in 2028 that includes an NBA arena, a hotel and resort, and a high-speed rail system connecting the city to Los Angeles.

“We are at the intersection of an entertainment economy that is massively tied to tourism, sports and entertainment,” Bo Bernhard, vice president for economic development at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said in an interview.

This convergence, he said, represents a staggering $13.7 trillion, the equivalent of 14 percent of the global economy, about nine times the size of big pharma and nearly five times the size of the global automotive industry. The size of the global sports economy has grown from $2.3 trillion in 2019 to $2.65 trillion in 2023.

Bernhard, a former Division I baseball and football athlete at Harvard University, is on the front lines of a thriving sports innovation movement emanating from UNLV that is radically reshaping the way athletes train and how athletes consumers experience the events.

Computerized soccer cleats, esports arenas and new card games are among the creations coming out of Black Fire Innovation, a 100,000-square-foot facility in South Las Vegas overseen by Bernhard that has been compared to innovation hubs such as North Carolina’s Research Triangle, the University of Texas at Austin and Silicon. Stanford Valley University.

The sports advancements being made in Las Vegas parallel a tech boom in Southern Nevada, which has seen a recent influx of startups in the field of artificial intelligence.

Learn more: Beyond the glitz of CES, Las Vegas is quietly building a sustainable tech scene

In partnership with LG Electronics 066570,
Panasonic 6752,
Intel INTC,
Césars Entertainment CZR,
and others, Black Fire has been a source of ideas and advice for major sports franchises and colleges. It was Bernhard who answered the call from then-Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis in 2016, which ultimately led to the team moving to Las Vegas.

Sporting events in Las Vegas generated $1.845 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2022, and 39 major events or tournaments are scheduled in the region in 2024, according to the UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research .

“This city is poised to do what Detroit did with the auto industry, and Houston and Dallas did it with oil,” Bernhard said.

2024-01-13 10:58:56
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