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Selling Sin City: UNLV Football Relying on Fans Loving Vegas

UNLV football's hopeful new season begins in one week. Can the team draw enough interest from the city to start filling in the seats at Sam Boyd Stadium? Coach Tony Sanchez aims to increase the city's passion for its team by highlighting the city itself.

Sam Boyd Stadium
Sam Boyd Stadium
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Last week I suggested that UNLV's new football culture in the upcoming season could be based on one, important word: hope.  However, I guess I didn't truly realize what this season was all about for UNLV's football program.  Instead, if you enjoy hip hop, UFC, or even law enforcement, you'll love UNLV football in 2015.  Wait, what?

Just check out UNLV's latest promo video that convinces you just how "cool" it is to be a part of UNLV's new football era.

I am not exactly sure what emotions we are meant to experience after watching this video, but I would have rather seen snippets of much more "authentic" Vegas experiences.  Where's the neon lights, the celebrities, or busy sidewalks?  I would have even settled for Donny and Marie standing out front of Sam Boyd Stadium.  More over, I didn't really see a whole lot of "football" in the UNLV football promo.

But, head coach Tony Sanchez is convinced that the most exciting part of UNLV's football program is the city itself; this according to an article published earlier this week by the Las Vegas Sun.  Because nothing says it's time for some Saturday pigskin like hotel rooms, drive thru weddings, and triple 7s aligned on a slot machine.

Selling a city in exchange for interest in a football team is an easy scape goat when a program has been, in the contemporary era, a plague to an athletic department.  Luckily for Sanchez, he has one of the greatest cities in the world to promote.  However, instead of going on a "getting to know you" local tour, as he has recently done throughout the Las Vegas community, some Rebel fans would rather see a promo video filled with Sanchez working out his squad in preparation for the coming year (rather than the Jabbawokeez preparing for a performance).  And yes, they are in the promo.

Something that the UNLV football team does not need more of is Vegas; rather, it's practice.  And the fans in Sin City do not need another reminder of the city they live in; instead, they want a winning football program (or at least one near .500).