LAS VEGAS (KLAS)— The NFL said it’s bringing the ideas for Las Vegas’ first Super Bowl, but it needs local, minority-owned businesses to make them happen.
“Barricades,” “florals,” “golf carts,” and “security” are just some of the services and goods the Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee is looking to support both the big game and 10-days of events leading up to it.
Denette Braud, serves up peach cobbler, chicken fingers, and other funnel cake creations in Town Square. Braud’s Funnel Cake Café is about to celebrate 17 years in the valley, and for the next anniversary, the owner hopes to be serving the thousands anticipated to come to town.
“We’re actually the only funnel cake café here in Las Vegas,” Braud said. “We’ve done events where we’ve had 20,000 people.”
Tiesha Moore, the owner of G3 Electrical, is hoping 13 years of electrical business in the valley can be used to power the different events.
“We do lighting, power, things like that,” Moore said. “I think it’s great just being here in this room.”
Both Braud and Moore funneled into the Las Vegas Raiders Headquarters Wednesday evening with several other local businesses hoping to sub-contract for the biggest media event in the world. But, they can only be chosen through the NFL Business Connect Program.
The program, a partnership with the NFL and Super Bowl Host Committee, ventures to connect “event-ready” and experienced Las Vegas businesses with the game’s vendors. BJ Waymer is the program lead and one of the speakers during Wednesday’s information meeting.
“What are the vendor needs? What are the supplier’s specialties? Let’s match them up,” Waymer said to the crowd of business owners Wednesday night.
But, it’s not as simple as just submitting an application for the role.
Businesses must first apply to join the program ahead of seven months of workshops and networking events that focus on improving online image to meet NFL standards. Once in the program, members are added to a database that will be presented to the game’s vendors and organizers, who have the ultimate say on whether or not to utilize their services.
“Everyone will get an opportunity to become more competitive, to learn how to compete and be successful,” Waymer said inside the headquarters. “We want to be able to create opportunities for everyone in the marketplace, not just someone who has a huge company and everyone knows them.”
Additionally, the program is looking for businesses at least 51% owned by a minority race, woman, disabled person, LGBTQ+ member, or veteran. The program began back in 2015 and has maintained the same equity goal for each game’s location.
If their services are not utilized during any 2024 Super Bowl events, Las Vegas Raiders Chief Financial Officer Michael Crome said they could be utilized elsewhere.
“Even if they don’t get a contract with Super Bowl, we’re going to use that database and those people as resources for events we have here for the Raiders, events that we have at Allegiant Stadium,” Crome said.
Because of this, businesses say just getting into the program would be a win.
“It gives Braud’s Funnel Cake Café so much more exposure, not just for the Super Bowl, but I like the fact that it carries over,” Braud said.
“Those opportunities create hope and just the ability for us to know that we can be part of something that’s bigger than what we’ve done in the past,” Moore said.
Businesses are referred to the program through local business groups, though Waymer adds they will continue outreach efforts until the application period closes on Feb. 14.
She’s unclear how many contracts will be available to program members as the NFL continues putting together next year’s events and games. Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee chief engagement officer, Myisha Boyce, told 8 News Now that they expect to qualify over 200 businesses for the program as there will be “plenty of opportunities coming to town.” More information on the NFL Business Connect Program can be found on its website