By all accounts, 2020 was supposed to be Las Vegas’ best year yet for live events. In April and May, Kelly Clarkson, the Jonas Brothers and Sting were pacing to sell out their new residencies at Zappos Theater in Planet Hollywood, Park Theater in Park MGM and the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, respectively. Down the Strip at Wynn’s Encore Theater -- Billboard’s top-grossing theater under 2,000 capacity worldwide -- comedians Sebastian Maniscalco and Jo Koy were booked for four and five shows, respectively, and all were sold out. Allegiant Stadium, the $2 billion new home of the Las Vegas Raiders, is still scheduled to open in August with the Garth Brooks Stadium Tour, which sold out 65,000 tickets in 75 minutes -- but that concert too is in jeopardy as COVID-19 cases spike in Nevada. And in November, AEG had plans to debut a new theater inside the freshly minted Virgin Hotel, but sources say that project is likely on hold until 2021.
It’s been four months since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the city’s entertainment business, which, coupled with casinos closing in mid-March, could cause more than $39 billion in overall economic losses to the state of Nevada, and will require 12–18 months to recover, according to a report commissioned by the Nevada Resort Association. And even as casino-resorts began phased reopening starting June 4, that does not include concerts and there are no clear plans yet for when or how live music events might resume.