Super B<span id="more-4652"></span>owl Host Cities Announced Through 2021, Los Angeles Grabs Final Bid

The Super Bowl in 2021 will be played in the soon-to-be-constructed City of Champions Stadium in Inglewood, California, future home of the Los Angeles Rams.

The next five Super Bowl locations are set following the annual Spring League Meeting in Atlanta on May 24. The owners voted to award Super Bowl LIII (2019) to Atlanta, 2020 to Miami, and 2021 to Los Angeles.

The latter will receive the most attention as it brings the most-watched sporting event in the US back to Los Angeles for the first time since 1993. On January 12, 2016, owners voted 30-2 to allow the Rams to relocate back to Los Angeles and return the NFL to the nation’s second-largest city.

Houston will host Super Bowl LI in 2017, with Minneapolis hosting 2018. Both sites had been previously selected.

Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Stockbridge Capital, owners of the Hollywood Park Casino, have commenced plans for the construction on the tentatively titled City of Champions Stadium in Inglewood, California. The $2.6 billion facility is expected to open in 2019 ahead of the Rams’ NFL season.

‘With our new stadium and project, it will be unbelievable,’ Kroenke told ESPN of Super Bowl LV.

Making the Grade

The overall theme from the owners meeting was that if you want the Super Bowl, upgrade your stadium, or better yet, build one.

The $1.4 billion Mercedes-Bank Stadium in Atlanta will open in 2017 three years after construction began, and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross personally spent $450 million to renovate the New Miami Stadium, formerly and perhaps more commonly known as Dolphin Stadium.

‘The message is clear from NFL ownership. Build a stadium (or fix one up) and the Super Bowl will come to town,’ NFL writer Gregg Rosenthal stated.

Unlike the Olympics where hosting the games is no longer a no-brainer and can actually cost cities and taxpayers millions of dollars, the Super Bowl remains an economic powerhouse for host locations.

Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California, home of the San Francisco 49ers, generated some $350 million in revenue for the Bay Area, and nearly $70 million in business travel. The NFL says the fiscal impact of hosting the Super Bowl varies anywhere from a couple hundred million to $800 million depending on the region.

NFL’s Super Gamble

Though certain owners have expressed support for Raiders owner Mark Davis moving his franchise to Las Vegas, most notably New England Patriots boss Robert Kraft, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league have historically opposed placing a team in Sin City due to its legal sports betting.

Nevada is the only state that’s using its grandfathered status to free itself from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), but the Silver State is certainly not the only state where sports betting runs rampant.

When Super Bowl LV comes to Los Angeles in 2021, the game will be played just steps from the Hollywood Park Casino.

The NFL has been critiqued in recent months for hypocrisy surrounding its involvement with daily fantasy sports (DFS). Of the league’s 32 teams, 28 have marketing pacts with either DraftKings or FanDuel, but the NFL itself opposes traditional line betting on games.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is slowly moving towards favoring legalized sports betting.

‘There’s an enormous amount of betting that’s all underground, we have no idea what’s going on,’ Silver said on ESPN May 24. ‘It’s my job as commissioner to protect the integrity of the game, and like the stock market with insider trading, if you don’t have an open exchange, you can’t know what insider trading is going on.’

Should the Big Four sports get behind sports betting, it would theoretically create a strong case for the eradication of the federal PASPA law.

Steve Wynn Artificial Lake Plans Panned by Environmentalists in Las Vegas

Steve Wynn wants to rid his Las Vegas resort of its current 18-hole golf course to make way for Wynn Paradise Park, a $1.5 billion water facility that would feature a 38-acre lake for water skiing, paddle boarding, parasailing, and more.

Casino tycoon Steve Wynn wants to develop an artificial 38-acre lake in the Las Vegas desert, and the billionaire says it will actually help conserve water resources. (Image: Wynn Resorts)

But before the billionaire casino tycoon can build his new park, he must first persuade his company’s board of directors, and not all of them are on board.

Environmental concerns are being raised on the impact that an artificial body of water with a perimeter of more than a mile might have on water conservation in the desert. While the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas lights up the Strip nightly, it’s important to remember that the city sits smack dab in the middle of the Mojave.

Wynn is expected to put up the project to vote during a board of directors meeting this fall. As of now, Wynn Paradise Park is slated to open in 2020.

In Hot Water

Las Vegas averages just 21 days of precipitation a year for a total of about four inches of annual rainfall. Wynn’s water paradise would hold about 100 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Director of the Center for Urban Water Conservation Dale Devitt told the Associated Press this week that, ‘Artificial lakes, we should think very hard and long about before we start.’

Wynn’s company says the lake would actually be beneficial to the Las Vegas environment, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority seems to be backing up those claims.

According to calculations by the Water Authority, the lake would require about 300 to 400 acre-feet of water each year. The Wynn Golf Club currently occupying the property consumes upwards of 800 acre-feet annually.

Along with anti-evaporation technologies, Wynn says the project would use solar power and ‘use less water than a golf course.’

Flying By the Seat of His Pants

At 74 years old, Steve Wynn might be having some sort of three-quarters life crisis.

On May 17, Wynn showed up unannounced at SlotZilla to ride the zip line. Along with his fiftyish second wife Andrea, Wynn rode both the upper and lower zips that hover above Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.

Wynn, who suffers from the eye disease retinitis pigmentosa, which has left him nearly blind, thoroughly enjoyed the ride, according to those who were there.

‘He just showed up, out of the blue,’ Freemont Street Experience Interactive Marketing Manager Scott Roeben told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Wynn Resorts Executive Vice President of Architecture DeRuyter Butler also accompanied Wynn and the missus.

It’s likely that the same demographic of Las Vegas tourist that would be interested in paying an admission fee to enter the water facility, estimated to be about $20, would also be interested in zip lining their way around it.

Wynn confirmed his zip line plans during a conference call with investors on May 5.

‘Picture this . . . a slope up to two twin peaks that are connected with a rope bridge, built into the side are cabanas and other special effects platforms. . . And then there is a beach bar with white sand. And then from our convention center on the north there are zip lines that take people to the bar and from the side of the mountain there are zip lines that take them back.’

Pennsylvania Online Gambling Bill Waits on House Gurney for Possible Resuscitation

The Pennsylvania online gambling bid was killed in the State House of Representatives yesterday, before being quickly resuscitated and plugged into a life support machine.

Feeling the Payne: Pennsylvania Representative John Payne’s online poker push has been derailed by a huge clerical blunder, but this ‘rocky’ measure is still hanging on. (Image:

Two proposed amendments to the state’s gambling laws that would authorize Internet gaming were voted down on the House floor by lawmakers, who then strangely voted overwhelmingly for their reconsideration.

What this means is that online gaming still has a chance of being passed by the House, from where it would be sent for a vote on the Senate floor, and from there to the desk of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D), the crazy budget guy.

Its chances of success in this regard are quite difficult to gauge, considering that the result of yesterday’s vote was apparently skewed by a somewhat embarrassing clerical error.

House of Payne

Up for consideration were amendments A7622 and A7619. The latter was essentially a mirror of State Representative John Payne’s online gambling bill, HB 649, introduced in February 2015, which sought to regulate online casino gaming and poker.

This was unburdened by any video gaming terminal (VGT) legislation, which, as we reported several days ago, was looking to attach itself to online gambling legislation in an effort to muscle its way through the legislature.

The motion to expand VGT gambling into airports and off-track betting parlors, while having a modicum of support in the House, is controversial enough to kill the bill, online gambling and all, if it were to be partnered with Payne’s legislation.

And A7622 was exactly that: a facsimile of the Payne bill, but with the addition of the controversial VGT expansion measures thrown in. And it was first up to vote.

Problem was, while it was not supported by Payne, it had his name on it, albeit completely by mistake.

Naysayers Win Out

The amendment was actually authored by Representative Mark Mustio, and Payne naturally voted against it, as did many of its supporters, who believed it to be the Payne amendment.

Then, once the shocking realization of the error set in, they hurriedly set about voting against the Payne amendment in the hopes of forcing a reconsideration of both bills on the grounds that this was all a bit of a tragedy of errors.

The VGT amendment was defeated by 122 votes to 66, while the Payne amendment by the narrower margin of 107 to 81. But considering that some of the VGT supporters may well have also voted for the Payne amendment had they not realized their mistake, there’s still a slim chance it could be passed.

It may be an underdog, but hopefully, like that other great Pennsylvania underdog Rocky Balboa, it can take a few punches and just keep getting back up, till it finally wins.

After all, it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward. At least that’s what Burgess Meredith would have told Payne, and his bill is still in the ring, if a tad bloodied.

Toronto Raptors Players Spotted at Cleveland Casino Before Humiliating Defeat in NBA Eastern Finals

DeMarre Carroll, second in from the left, was one of two players on the Toronto Raptors spotted at a casino in the middle of the night before game five of the Eastern Conference Finals. (Image: Rick Madonik/Toronto Star)

The Toronto Raptors are having a historic season. Founded in 1995, the only international team in the National Basketball Association (NBA) went 56-26 to win the Atlantic Division and is now playing in their first Eastern Conference Finals against the conference’s top-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers.

After being manhandled in games one and two, the Raptors regained momentum in the series by winning the next two at home in Toronto. Branded ‘We The North,’ everything went south Wednesday night when the two teams returned to Cleveland.

For all intensive purposes, the game was over at halftime as Cleveland led by 31 points following just two quarters of play. It ended 116-78, giving the Cavs a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven contest.

Some 18 hours before game five tipped off, Raptors players DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph were spotted in downtown Cleveland around 2 am Wednesday morning at the JACK Casino. Carroll is one of five starters for the Raptors.

Asked after the game about two of his players being in a casino at 2 am, Toronto head coach Dwane Casey told reporters, ‘I didn’t know that. It was an 8:30 game. That’s the good thing I guess.’