It won’t be long before you’ll be able to see almost any conceivable sport in Las Vegas live. From combat to car racing and everything in between, this city in the middle of the Nevadan desert is building its sports offering at an impressive rate.
But it wasn’t always this way. For a long time, Sin City was famous for one reason and one reason only – casinos.
Foundations Made of Casinos
Las Vegas is a city that was built on the casino business. Although its history stretches back hundreds of years, it was little more than a few farms until thousands of Americans descended on the area to begin construction on the famous Hoover Dam.
These laborers, engineers, and managers all needed somewhere to stay and blow off some steam, so some local entrepreneurs quickly spotted an opportunity to create a center for entertainment.
That original philosophy has continued throughout the 20th century and well into the 21st, but today’s Las Vegas casino owners cast their nets much wider when fishing for visitors to spend money in their establishments.
Today’s casino connoisseurs have many more choices than their dam-building ancestors. They don’t have to travel across state lines to enjoy a game of blackjack or spin the reels of some slot games. Instead, they can simply whip out their smartphone, tablet, or computer and open an online casino.
This has been made even easier by comparison sites like OddsChecker, where players find all of the best casino bonuses and promotions so that they can get even more value from their gaming sessions.
When it comes to Las Vegas’ competition, that’s not all. Other cities now offer land-based gaming options in states right across the United States, as well as in countries like Singapore and Monaco.
With all of these other parties vowing for the attention and patronage of players, Las Vegas needed a way to diversify its offering. One of the ways it has been doing this is through sports.
Boxing was the first professional sport to find its feet in Las Vegas, and it acted as a barometer for casino owners to assess how sporting events would fare in their city.
The first bouts were held in the mid-20th century after boxing outgrew its original home in New York. In the decades that followed, Vegas played host to some of the most memorable matches in boxing history, including those that featured Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Tyson Fury.
Following this format, fighting has become frequent in Vegas, with wrestling and mixed martial arts like the UFC becoming well-established in the city. But the sporting scene is not only limited to combat sports. Las Vegas has also welcomed many other disciplines to its desert playground.
The Major Leagues
For many years, major leagues in the US have attempted to establish a presence in Las Vegas, with many achieving little more than mediocre success.
The list of those that folded or moved away is long, and includes the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL, the Las Vegas Outlaws XFL team, and the Las Vegas Slam of the ABA league. The only minor outfit to enjoy any degree of longevity in the city is the Las Vegas Aviators of the MiLB, who began playing in the city in 1983.
However, the Las Vegas Raiders, Vegas Golden Knights, and Las Vegas Aces have all enjoyed success in more recent years. They may not have achieved the top results, but all three major league teams have established a presence in the city and attracted large numbers of spectators.
Off the back of this success, the city, casino owners, and the sport’s commercial rights holders have banded together to bring Formula 1 to the city of Las Vegas in 2023.
The race will see cars zoom up and down the famous Strip under the neon lights of Vegas’ nighttime skyline. This will put the world’s biggest annual international league right in the heart of the city, shining the spotlight on both Vegas and F1.
This is a win-win for both parties, but it helps to confirm the city as the place where all of the biggest events take place.