NFL stars embrace Las Vegas as city prepares for Super Bowl LVIII: ‘The best of it all’

 

LAS VEGAS – Jackpot! 

The Super Bowl has finally come to Las Vegas, and fans have braved the wet weather and descended upon the entertainment capital of the world to watch the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

It has been a long time coming for the city to host one of the biggest spectacles in the world. For many years, Las Vegas was considered taboo for the NFL because the city was the only place in the United States where anyone could make a sports bet. However, the league has fully embraced sports gambling, even approved the Raiders’ move from Oakland to Las Vegas and held the 2022 draft in the city.

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Current and former players alike have also lauded the NFL for having the game in the Super Bowl. Raiders star Maxx Crosby is one of them. Crosby lives in the area and has fully embraced the entire area. He told Fox News Digital the town, even outside Las Vegas Boulevard, is “amazing.”

“I feel like people, if you look back five years ago or 10 years ago, people thought it was insane. You could never have a team in Vegas because of gambling and this and distractions. But at the end of the day, the people that really are in Vegas and live here like myself, most of my teammates and things like that, you realize Vegas, besides The Strip, is an amazing town,” Crosby said. 

“You have great people here. You have normal neighborhoods and communities and things like that. Vegas is home for me. I plan on staying here for a long time, regardless of my situation. I bought my house here. I plan on staying here, raising my daughter here as well.

“It’s got everything. It’s the best of both worlds. If you want to go have a great time, you can go to the casino, do your thing, go to the best restaurants, the best shows, the best performances, the best artists … it’s like the hub for entertainment. So, if you add football into it – football’s the most popular sport in America – so you put two and two together, it makes total sense. I just feel like Vegas has got the best of it all to be honest. It’s got every aspect that you could imagine in your fantasy city that you can create.”

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Julian Edelman, who won three Super Bowl titles with the New England Patriots, said the one thing about the city is how all the events are close to each other.

Players, at least those who are doing media events throughout the week, will not necessarily have to jump on buses to travel to each event.

“Hosting a Super Bowl in Vegas is awesome because when you play in these games, you play in certain cities and things are spread out,” he told Fox News Digital. “You got to take a 60-minute bus to go over here. There’s the NFL Experience in this area that you gotta go 40 miles … Like, everything is right in the strip. I’m excited to go down there and see how they’ve designed the city to host the game. The stadium’s right there. 

“So like, it’s all in great proximity which makes it a great Super Bowl hosting city. And then, Vegas is Vegas. That’s going to be a fun environment. (If you) already been to Vegas, you’ve seen the excitement that you get with like a world championship boxing match or the UFC – this is the Super Bowl. I can only imagine how crazy it’s going to be. And it’s a great thing for Vegas and for the NFL.”

Rob Gronkowski pointed to the buzz the city has generated since the Vegas Golden Knights began in the NHL and the Raiders move. The Oakland A’s could also potentially be on their way to the city as well.

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“I think it’s great for Vegas just overall,” Gronkowski said. “It’s great for the game of football too, because everyone loves to go to Vegas. And look at all the sports teams that are now in Vegas. It started with the NHL team the (Golden Knights). Look how popular they became and look at the success that they had and their fan base. 

“And now they’re possibly going to get an NBA team. … I think the Oakland A’s are actually moving to Las Vegas from what I have heard over the last couple of weeks as well. So it’s great to see the sports teams going to Vegas. … They haven’t even had that good of a team since the Raiders have been there and look how much support they have had. I think it’s well-needed, and I think it was a great move to get the Raiders to Vegas and great for the NFL as well.”

Hall of Famer Howie Long believes Las Vegas could be seeing multiple Super Bowls for years to come.

“I’m looking forward to meeting and hanging out with some fans throughout the weekend. Some of my favorite moments and memories happened at Super Bowls, both as a player and a broadcaster, and as a dad with a son that played in two and was fortunate enough to win two,” Long told Fox News Digital last month. “To say it’s a spectacle, the Super Bowl in general in whatever city it’s in, but to have it in Vegas is, to me, amazing.”

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The city appears ready for kickoff Sunday night.