Nick Khan hopes that SummerSlam 2021 is the beginning of WWE hosting regular major events in Las Vegas.
WWE is coming back in a big way starting in July and it is all leading up to the first-ever SummerSlam event hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada. SummerSlam 2021 also has the distinction of being the first SummerSlam event hosted in a major Stadium since 1992 and none of this would have been possible without this year's March Madness.
Speaking with the Las Vegas Sun, WWE President Nick Khan says that the company was paying close attention to March Madness because prior to that, there was a belief that the Las Vegas economy was going to take a major hit from the pandemic, and perhaps it would have been a hit that was too great to come back from.
Nick notes that he is hoping this is a chance to jumpstart the Las Vegas economy through the brand strength of WWE.
“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.”
Furthermore, Nick Khan says that the hope is that this year's SummerSlam creates the precedent for more major professional wrestling events to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“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.”