Vegas a Sports Mecca?
Las Vegas has finally been upgraded from bench warmers to first string. For years we haven’t been able to have a national sports team because we’re the betting hub of the nation and officials thought results could be rigged if we did. Well, our kicking and screaming at that unfair rule has finally paid off because now we’re coming in hot with all these professional sports teams. This year, we’ll have an NFL team (what up, Raiders?!), an NHL team (Go Knights, Go!), a WNBA team (ahh yeah, Las Vegas Aces!) and a USL team (whoop whoop, Lights!). On top of that, we are already home to UFC, Boxing, AAA baseball and the NBA Summer League. You can say that sports in Vegas are a pretty big deal. NHL - GOLDEN KNIGHTS In the words of the philosopher, 2 Chainz, we “Did what they say we couldn’t” and got professional NHL hockey in Las Vegas to be a real life thing! The NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights claimed the T-Mobile Arena as their home ice in 2017 and thus became the first professional sports team in Las Vegas. Tears would be rolling down our face, but the cold from the rink has frozen our eyelids. While we’re at it, this is a perfect time to envision a Stanley Cup parade rolling down the Strip before setting up shop at The Park. Man, talk about a rager for the ages.
UFC We imagine being drop kicked in the UFC ring feels a whole lot like waking up after a night at Omnia. Not to say we have the fighting skills or endurance of Conor McGregor, but we’re trying to be as relatable as possible. UFC has become a hot commodity over the years and if it’s “hot,” Vegas has to have it. If you thought watching the fighters slam each other to the ground on TV was cringe worthy, wait till you see it live – the bloodshed is insane. Call up your friends from last night and head to one of our many Las Vegas bars to catch these fighters brutally beat the crap out of each other.
BOXING Sports in Las Vegas may have entered the big leagues, but the city’s first love has always been boxing. Nothing is bigger or more revered than boxing in Las Vegas (well, except for its restaurants and buffets, obvi). Name any number of the sweet science’s greatest bouts and chances are they've been held under the bright lights of the Strip. Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Tommy Hearns? Las Vegas. Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield? Vegas, baby. Muhammad Ali vs. Floyd Patterson? The old Las Vegas Convention Center ring a bell? Heck, even modern classics like basically every Mayweather bout or Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin wouldn’t dream of being held anywhere else. Las Vegas boxing is the sport’s end all-be all. Its “Mecca,” if you will. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
WNBA - ACES Show of hands if you’ve ever been dunked on or have had your ankles broken. Don’t feel too bad, that’s been our existence since the 7th grade. But you’d better get used to it because all of that rejection is happening on the reg now that the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces have moved to town. You heard that right. The WNBA is alive and kicking in Las Vegas. Let us say it again, professional basketball in Las Vegas is a REAL THING! The Las Vegas Aces (eek!) claim Mandalay Bay Events Center as their home court and we finally have an excuse to yell “booyaka,” “in your face” and “she’s on fire." Our apologies to LVFD in advance.
NFL – LAS VEGAS RAIDERS Tossing the old pig skin around with dear old dad is one of our favorite things to do in Las Vegas. We might not have played in the NFL, but it’s still fun to watch the pros play ball. Call up your dad and start saving for your Las Vegas Raiders tickets at Allegiant Stadium now. We’ve finally got our own professional football team to root for, and we are going to root the hell out of them. We're even going to take it a step further and paint our bodies black and silver to show off our spirit…and to get on national TV because, well, we live for being in the spotlight. Time for some true bonding time with dad while these pro football players bring the NFL to Vegas.
BASKETBALL Basketball in Las Vegas has traditionally been dominated by that “runnin’" college team. As of late however, Vegas’ hardwood love affair has evolved to include competition of the highest level. Translation: the NBA. Every year the NBA hosts its annual Summer League in Las Vegas, a gathering of the league’s recent draft picks and top G-Leaguers. But that's not all! One of the NBA’s premiere franchises, the Los Angeles Lakers have made it a tradition to partake in at least one pre-season game each year here on the Strip. But that’s not all! The arrival of T-Mobile Arena has only added to Las Vegas’ basketball bounty as countless college tournaments and Ice Cube’s Big3 Basketball set up shop on Las Vegas Boulevard. With any luck, the basketball gods will answer our prayers and an NBA team in Las Vegas will be arriving shortly. Until then, Vegas hoop heads are already pretty lucky.
USL – LAS VEGAS LIGHTS We’re not the only ones who put our shirts over our heads and run through the streets when something great happens, right? Well, that's what happens when you're a soccer fan. Or, at least a fan of the USL's Las Vegas Lights. The riveting spectators, the roaring crowd after a missed goal and the players’ smooth footwork is what soccer is all about. And now, there are real life game to go to instead of watching it at one of the bars in Las Vegas. Screaming for the LA Galaxy or the Portland Timbers, no more! The Lights are all things soccer in Las Vegas. GOOOOOOAAAAAL!
TRIPLE-A BASEBALL - LAS VEGAS AVIATORS Las Vegas baseball has been a thing for awhile. The Las Vegas 51's arrived in 1983 and remained until 2019 when they changed their name to the Aviators. Currently the Triple-A affiliates of MLB’s Oakland A's, the Aviators aren’t even Las Vegas’ only ties to the majors. Thanks to homegrown studs like MVP’s Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant, baseball in Las Vegas has been, and will remain, a staple of the community.