The Raiders aren’t moving to Las Vegas until 2019 or 2020, but ideas of how their shiny new stadium will be used beyond the 10 football games it hosts a year are already starting to materialize.
Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. wrote a fascinating piece for ESPN about how Mark Davis, with a big assist from Jerry Jones, outfoxed the seemingly-shrewder Sheldon Adelson and got the NFL ownership approval for the relocation. Tucked deep in it was this detail about how Jones lobbied his brethren:
Both the league and the Raiders appreciated Jones throwing his weight behind the project, adding legitimacy to it, convincing skeptical owners that the city and team would be a perfect marketing and branding match in a beautiful new stadium that could host the combine and even a Super Bowl.
With the Draft moving around now, going to whichever city will most generously open up their coffers to the NFL, why not the Combine?
Indianapolis has great hospitality, and it’s convenient that everything important is all within a several-block radius, but it’s also not exactly a supreme destination. This is especially true as the league seeks to open up the Combine more to fans. And do the NFL power brokers appreciate that the whole world knows they can be found clustered at two or three bars that week? If there’s a rotation, Indy has earned the right to be in it, but there’s no reason it must host the event every year.
Vegas, of course, presents myriad other entertainment options. If you’re a fan of, like, the Giants or Packers, wouldn’t you rather make a trip of the Combine there than Indy? The same logic applies for cities like New Orleans and Miami.
The only issue with Vegas is that it’s hell on Earth after two nights, and the Combine lasts like a whole week now. But, let the media members worry about that problem, as the fans can shuttle in and out at their leisure.
Now that the idea is out there, the Combine in Vegas feels like a no-brainer, right?