Once upon a time, not long ago, the only sports you could find in Las Vegas were inside the top-rated sportsbooks such as ones found at vegasbetting.com. Today, though? “Sin City”, as it’s aptly-named, is quickly becoming THE destination for sports.
How the heck did this even happen? Especially when sports leagues use to turn their nose up to the entire city? And how did it happen in a matter of five years or so? Well, it was no coincidence, we’ll tell you that. Next, lets cover the main reasons why Las Vegas has become a sports hub seemingly overnight.
Relaxed Rules On Sports Gambling
Las Vegas has always been a glamorous city. However, what stopped it from ever having a professional sports team was betting. More specifically, leagues worried the presence of gambling would seep into the sport and cause game “fixing.”
Oh, how times have changed. In 2018, the Supreme Court lifted a ban on sports betting at the federal level. Since then, dozens of US states have legalized the practice, which means Las Vegas is no longer the “only show in town” when it comes to regulated gambling.
Nowadays, leagues are no longer running away from betting. Heck, they’re embracing it as a new revenue driver. Most leagues, along with individual sports franchises, have signed multi-million-dollar deals with sports betting brands like Caesars and MGM.
Golden Knights Christen The City’s Sports Scene
No matter the industry, somebody has to be first to market. How that first entrant performs sets the table for others — either follow along or go the opposite direction. When it comes to Vegas pro sports, it all started with the Golden Knights of the National Hockey League (NHL) in 2016.
And boy, what a dazzling start is was for them. The Knights proved the surrounding city could support a sports team as it sold out game after game. This never-ending support culminated with the franchise advancing all the way to the Stanley Cup championship — in its first-ever year!
The sell-out feat is especially impressive given the entertainment competition in Vegas. Here’s a city overfilled with casinos, shows, and nightlife, but despite that, the Golden Knights proved to be the hottest ticket in town!
Forking Over Big For Raiders Stadium
The NHL is great and all, but let’s make no mistake about it, the National Football League (NFL) still dominates the sports scene domestically. That’s why the city bent over backwards to bring in the Raiders from Oakland.
Believe us, it wasn’t cheap to do so. Allegiant Stadium — home of the Las Vegas Raiders — cost local taxpayers a boat load of money. The final bill taxpayers footed was a whopping $750 million, which came from a hotel tax. Think about it, that $750 million could’ve gone to other state needs, but instead it went to sports.
Whether you think that’s right or wrong makes no difference. In the end, it proves the city was willing to put their money where their mouth is in terms of being a sports attraction.
Perfect Locale To Accomodate Big Events
Beyond the Golden Knights and Raiders, Las Vegas is also home to several once-a-year sporting events. Think of the NBA Summer League or NCAA conference tournaments like the PAC-12 or Mountain West.
Why’s that? Welp, obviously, the city is tailor-made to host travelers in one area. Of course, Las Vegas casino and hotels have the rooms — both for sleep and conferences — and amenities to do so. But second, who doesn’t want to travel to Vegas for a weekend sporting event? It’s an easy sell for event organizers.
It’s Vegas After All
Piggybacking off our last comment, Las Vegas sells itself. The city’s population is growing. It attracts tourists from all over the world. People want to be there and it only makes sense for sports to capitalize off that energy.
From a pro athlete side, the state of Nevada also has no state income taxes. Just like pros flock to Florida for the same reason and sunny weather, we imagine Las Vegas will soon be mentioned in the same breath. The sports scene inside the city still has a long runway to go — just tell the NBA to move the Memphis franchise here already!