WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan recently spoke with Brock Radke of The Las Vegas Sun to promote the upcoming WWE SummerSlam pay-per-view, which will be held on Saturday, August 21 from Allegiant Stadium in Vegas.
Khan noted that WWE paid close attention to NCAA March Madness and once that brought people back to Vegas following the COVID-19 pandemic closures, the company knew they could draw a crowd and help jumpstart the Vegas economy.
“We were paying close attention to March Madness because there was a thought that people might not be going back to Las Vegas [to bet and watch games] because there was nothing to go back to,” Khan said. “But once March Madness hit, the occupancy rate skyrocketed. That was our moment of [understanding] if we have an event, it will get people back, and it’s an opportunity to also help jumpstart the Vegas economy.”
WWE has ran Vegas in recent years at the T-Mobile Arena and the Thomas & Mack Center. Khan noted that the arrival of Allegiant Stadium could mean more WWE pay-per-view events in Vegas in the future.
“That’s the hope,” Khan said. “The Silver Bowl (Sam Boyd Stadium) was a tough venue to get to and stay at. You have the Thomas & Mack Center, and then all of a sudden you had MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mandalay Bay, and then boom, the Golden Knights and the Raiders and T-Mobile Arena and Allegiant Stadium, and now also the [MSG] Sphere being built.
“There’s a surge of sports in Las Vegas and the mistake I think the sports world was making previously is looking at the local market without seeing the hundreds of millions of tourism dollars every year. With the NFL’s 16, now 17-week season, you’re figuring if the home games can attract enough out-of-town fans, and that’s easy. It makes all the sense in the world.”
Khan grew up in Vegas, graduated from Bonanza High School and the University of Las Vegas. He had been making regular monthly trips back to Vegas to see family until the coronavirus pandemic hit, and now he says he can’t wait to return to the city with WWE.
“To me, Vegas has always been a city that attracts everybody. Certain cities attract regional or local folks but not national or international, and Vegas has always been that,” Khan said. “It’s a city based on winning, and the fact that the [Golden Knights] won a lot early on has built a lot of traction. It’s also about how great T-Mobile and Allegiant are and their proximity to the Strip shows the brilliance of both developers of those venues.”