Peter V’landys, has set his sights high with plans for a double-header NRL match to be played in Las Vegas in 2024. However, as interest in the project has grown, V’landys has expanded his vision, turning it into a full Australian NRL Expo. The extravaganza, set to run for a full week, has garnered interest from Las Vegas tourism who are keen to support the event, with discussions underway involving big names such as actor Hugh Jackman and superstar band U2.
V’landys has said that the timing of the event is perfect as it falls between American sports seasons, ensuring the spotlight is firmly on the NRL. The event will feature Australian boxing and UFC events, top Australian artists, and, of course, NRL matches. The Brisbane Broncos are the first team to be confirmed for the event, with three other teams to be named.
V’landys is not only aiming to promote the NRL in America but is also hoping to tap into the North American betting market, a lucrative industry that he believes will bring huge revenue streams to the game. With over 330 million people in the US, V’landys is aiming to secure just one per cent of the betting market, which would be a significant boost for the sport.
A range of Australian stars and companies have also expressed interest in being involved in the NRL Expo, hoping to showcase all things Australian to the American public. V’landys is confident that the event will be an annual occurrence, with a double-header played every season, rotating between all NRL clubs.
The matches will be played at the Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, which can hold up to 65,000 fans and is located next to the famed Las Vegas strip. The stadium will also host concerts by Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, and Beyonce later this year, as well as various NFL matches.
V’landys believes that anyone standing still in the sporting world will go backwards in the end and that initiatives like the NRL Expo are essential for the growth of the game. The event has unlimited potential to be the major annual event in the US, promoting Australia and the NRL as the headline partner. V’landys is confident that the event will be finalised within the next two weeks, with an announcement expected to be made by the end of next week.