LAS VEGAS, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Showgirls and Wayne Newton flanked the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Monday in Las Vegas, as NFL and local officials kicked off Super Bowl week in the city known for its blinding lights, elaborate acts and luxurious hotels.
About 350,000 people are expected to flow through town in the days ahead of the game, which will kick off Sunday night at Allegiant Stadium.
Greeting them will be a gluttony of glaring references to the game, including a 65,000-square-foot video splashed on the front on Strip linchpin Caesars Palace and more Super Bowl-themed graphics on the new gigantic Sphere venue.
"The only thing that made sense was to bring Las Vegas and the NFL together," Steve Hill, the president of at Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said Monday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. "This is not only Super Bowl week, this is Super Bowl week in Las Vegas."
Las Vegas was selected as the host city in 2021, giving the NFL, host committee and other officials 26 months to plan for the event, which is expected to draw a viewership of 100 to 200 million people. The broadcast will be provided in 25 languages and shown in 90 countries.
"We could not be more excited to kick things off today," NFL executive vice president Peter O'Reilly said Monday.
While finding shadows in Las Vegas isn't easy because of omnipresent lights, that's exactly what the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will likely attempt as they hone their focus and prepare gameplans.
Both teams will meet with the media for the first time Monday at Super Bowl Opening Night. The annual event, held this year at Allegiant Stadium, will air at 3 p.m. local time and 6 p.m. EST on NFL Network.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will then hold practices at the Las Vegas Raiders' training facility in Henderson, Nev., about 12 miles south of The Strip.
The 49ers, led by running back Christian McCaffery, a balanced passing game and stingy defense, will practice this week on the UNLV campus, just a couple of miles east of the casino cluster.
But those plans could change for the 49ers, who reportedly had safety concerns about the playing surface of their practice site.
Both teams will stay at hotels more than 30 minutes away from the mecca of slot machines, poker tables and Elvis Presley impersonators.
Getting tickets for the big game will be very expensive for those looking to attend at the last minute. Navigating traffic and finding hotel rooms also could be tricky, as will finding parking spots for planes.
Yes, even Taylor Swift could find it difficult to land her private jet, due to a lack of space on the crowded tarmac and hangars, if she manages to leave her concert in Japan in time to watch boyfriend Travis Kelce and the Chiefs battle the 49ers.
"We expect around 3,500 additional takeoffs and landings and about 500 aircraft will be parked at local airports during Super Bowl week," Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Rick Breitenfeldt said in a statement Monday.
The least expensive ticket price for game tickets on the secondary market was about $5,400, before taxes and fees, as of Monday afternoon. Hotel room rates are expected to climb near $600 this weekend. As of Monday on Hotels.com, the least expensive room rate within a half-mile of the Strip was more than $300 for a weekend stay.
Many of the fans who come to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl festivities will likely flow through the Super Bowl Experience at Mandalay Bay, getting autographs from players, participating in interactive activities and buying NFL merchandise. Children can attend the event, which will be held from Wednesday through Saturday, for free.
The 49ers are 2-point favorites to beat the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII, which will air at 3:30 p.m. local time and 6:30 p.m. EST Sunday on CBS.