Labor and Employment Impacts to Consider as the Big Game Comes to Vegas

If you haven’t heard by now, in less than two weeks, the biggest championship game in the football world is coming to Las Vegas for the first time and is projected to be one of the most expensive in the league’s history, with tens of thousands of people flocking to the city to attend. Such a major event will undoubtedly make for a large impact on the local labor economy in southern Nevada, affecting temporary workers, union workers, and potentially pushing up labor costs. It’s important for employers and employees alike to know just how the Big Game will affect the local economy from a labor and employment perspective given the uniqueness of such an event.

Temporary Staffing

Since the Big Game is a one-day event, it will be essential for major organizations involved to hire temporary workers. “Temps” are usually employees of a company that assigns them to an onsite location for a fixed period of time. Any labor and employment law considerations for the Big Game will arise from the temporary agency, including overtime, working hours, and breaks, instead of the NFL itself. However, the NFL may exert pressure as to how staffing arrangements are structured due to the high profile nature of the event, such as dictating the level of security personnel that needs to be retained and deployed at the event, since security personnel are usually retained as temporary labor.

Labor and Workforce Capacity

In the current economic environment, the most difficult issue may be labor shortages, since a temporary labor market like southern Nevada simply might not have the workforce capacity to meet the needs of a mega-event like the Big Game. What this might lead to is upward pressure on temp pay rates, and consequently, labor costs. This is because the relative scarcity of persons willing or able to work as temps will make them more valuable, and thus able to command higher rates for their work. It is also the case that segments of the workforce for an event of this magnitude might be unionized. If so, this would also create upward pressure on labor costs and would overlay the provisions of an applicable collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in this workplace.

Large sporting events are not new for the Entertainment Capital of the World, having just come off a major race in November. It will be key for the NFL and other key stakeholders to ensure that they follow in the footsteps of events that preceded them and are in compliance with local and state employment laws.

The Big Game’s journey to Las Vegas is not just a one-day extravaganza; it is a collaborative effort that requires thoughtful consideration of its implications on various facets of the local community. As the city welcomes football fanatics to its vibrant streets and though the best seat for many locals will be in front of their televisions, may this event serve as a catalyst for sustainable growth, leaving a lasting positive mark on the economy, labor force, and the spirit of Las Vegas.