Las Vegas gets coveted Super Bowl spot after years of effort

January 31, 2020 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas will be playing for attention in a place it once was banned when tourism officials roll out an ad featuring an updated slogan during the run-up to the NFL Super Bowl on Sunday.

A publicity blitz surrounding the new “What happens, only happens here” phrase during the music industry Grammy Awards telecast was toned down last weekend following the death of basketball star Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven other people in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles.

The 30-second spot, featuring current Las Vegas headliners Shania Twain, Christina Aguilera and Aerosmith, is scheduled to run during pregame telecasts ahead of the NFL championship game. It updates a “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” campaign that began in 2003.


The NFL and Las Vegas have had what Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority officials dubbed an “evolving relationship” since the league cited a policy against gambling and banned a Las Vegas tourism ad during the 2003 Super Bowl.

The relationship changed rapidly after the NFL in 2017 approved a move by the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, and the lifting in 2018 of a federal ban on sports betting.

The renamed Las Vegas Raiders begin play later this year at a nearly $2 billion, 65,000-seat indoor football stadium being built just off the Las Vegas Strip.

In April, Las Vegas will host the 2020 NFL Draft.