LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas will welcome thousands of sports fans to the city this week for the NFL Draft, putting the thriving and up-and-coming sports mecca into the spotlight for several days.
With the Vegas Golden Knights, Las Vegas Aces, Las Vegas Raiders and plenty of UFC fights and boxing matches, casino owner Derek Stevens told FOX Business he agrees with the notion that the city is the ultimate sports destination these days.
"I think Vegas is really becoming a great sports destination. I mean with the UFC fights here and then the Golden Knights, Raiders, we have a lot of March Madness (games), the (NCAA basketball) conference tournaments, next year Vegas is hosting an (NCAA Basketball Tournament) regional," Stevens said. "It’s a really great sports town and it’s such a great destination to come to for sports and sporting-related events."
Stevens said he knew Las Vegas could be a gigantic boon for pro sports teams and with the legalization of sports gambling across the U.S., it gave leagues a better opportunity to see Las Vegas the same way he sees it.
"Did I think that if Vegas ever got a sports team would it work? I absolutely always thought that. I’ve always thought Vegas was a very underserved market in professional sports," he told FOX Business.
One of Stevens’ properties is sure to be hopping come NFL Draft time. He’s the co-owner of Circa, located in downtown Las Vegas.
Circa changed the game in 2020 when the hotel and resort unveiled its Stadium Swim, giving sports fans the ultimate mix of watching sports on a 143-foot screen featuring about 11 games playing at once along with betting odds on the side of the board.
But while fans bite their nails about their latest wager, they could also take a dip in one of their six pools and take the edge off with a drink at the bar or some snacks at the grill. And definitely do not forget the sunblock as the sun blares down on you with very little relief in the shade.
It’s just one of the premier things Las Vegas will have to offer those who are coming in to show support for their favorite teams during the NFL Draft later in the week.
Stevens, a prominent businessman in Las Vegas, bought the Las Vegas Club in 2015 and the Mermaids Casino in 2016 and tore them down to build Circa Resort & Casino. Stadium Swim opened in October 2020 and the rest of the casino and hotel opened in December 2020.
Stevens told FOX Business he’s expecting NFL fans to descend upon the venue.
"I think it’ll be great. We’re planning on having a sellout for watching the draft on Thursday. We’ll be sold out on Friday and Saturday as well," Stevens said. "It’s just a great environment where you can get outside, you have some great audio, some great visuals and it should be a great environment for watching the draft. Certainly, one of the most unique environments anyone’s ever been at to watch the draft, that’s for sure."
He added: "We got it set up. It’s a great place where you can get some drinks and you can get some dinner and a great outdoor venue."
Circa also features a two-level casino with 512 hotel rooms, the lavish Legacy Club and the world's largest sportsbook.
The NFL Draft is set to take place just off the Las Vegas Strip adjacent to Caesars Forum on Thursday through Saturday.
Stadium Swim isn’t the only place in the city to keep an eye on the draft and any other sporting event taking place this weekend, but it certainly is one of the most impressive venues Sin City has to offer.