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The Sports-Lover’s Guide to Las

The Sports-Lover’s Guide to Las Vegas Right Now

Where to watch, scream, bet, and get in on the action yourself.

By Rob Kachelriess

Published on 1/26/2024 at 12:04 PM

Las Vegas Aces mascot BUCKET$ | Ethan Miller/Getty Images Sports

It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when the idea of hometown sports in Las Vegas was frowned upon. Having a major-league team in a town driven by gambling—much of it sports betting—seemed like a combination with too many variables. Those days are gone. Vegas is officially a sports town with some big players driving the action, including The Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL expansion franchise most responsible for the current sports boom. The team gave Las Vegas something to believe in after the 2017 mass shooting on the Strip and defied expectations by reaching the Stanley Cup finals in the team’s inaugural season. The Vegas Golden Knights went all the way and won the championship in 2023 with hopes of repeating this year.

There’s also The Las Vegas Aces, the defending two-time WNBA champions proving that a women’s sports team can draw in Las Vegas, and The Las Vegas Raiders, the Oakland transplants whose transition to Vegas has been rough at best, but at least it gave us Allegiant Stadium. Then there’s Ultimate Fighting Championship, the Las Vegas-based company that took cage fighting mainstream, that’s gearing up for a series of big shows this year, including UFC 300 in April, Conor McGregor’s pending return during International Fight Week in June, and a debut at the Sphere in September.

And, looking ahead, 2024 will be bigger than ever, with a weeklong series of events leading up to Super Bowl LVIII on February 11 at Allegiant Stadium and the return of F1 (with the accompanying traffic delays and online rage) from November 22 to 23. Efforts to bring new major-league teams to Vegas seem inevitable but are question marks at the moment. The idea of building a baseball stadium at the site of the Tropicana faces some hurdles, while promises of an NBA-ready arena in the north end of the Strip have been little else but talk for years.

The chatter highlights one thing: Las Vegas is on fire as a sports town. Here’s where to continue the fun by enjoying sports in Vegas and even getting in on the action yourself.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway | Photo by Sam Morris, courtesy of Las Vegas News

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Northeast Valley

Look out for: Fast cars and high-speed thrills
Before there was F1, there was the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 1.5-mile oval track is the home of NASCAR in Las Vegas, hosting annual events like Pennzoil 400, South Point 400, and even truck series racing with the capacity to hold 80,000 screaming fans. Half the fun is partying in the fan zone and camping out overnight. You can also test out the track yourself with Dream RacingMario Andretti, and NASCAR fan experiences.

Las Vegas Lights | Sam Wasson/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Las Vegas Lights


Look out for: Goals and glory with no hands
Soccer is starting to catch on in the US and maybe soon, we’ll call it “football” like the rest of the world does. Sin City got into the act with the Las Vegas Lights, whose name was decided in a poll of more than 10,000 fans in 2018. The team is part of the United Soccer League, with a new season kicking off in March under the guidance of former baseball star José Bautista, who was recently announced as the new primary owner. Home games take place at Cashman Field.

Photo by Ryan Gobuty, courtesy of Stadium Swim

Stadium Swim


Look out for: The world’s best pool party for watching sports
Stadium Swim is easily one of the best places to watch a big game in Las Vegas. The rooftop pool deck at Circa has a staggered “stadium style” layout with lounge chairs and cabanas facing a massive 143-foot video wall. All six pools are heated, allowing sports fans to take a dip and cheer on their favorites year-round. Just remember to place a bet downstairs at the Circa Sportsbook, one of the largest in Vegas.

Photo courtesy of City National Arena

City National Arena

Downtown Summerlin

Look out for: Public skating where the Golden Knights practice
Between home games at T-Mobile Arena, the Vegas Golden Knights practice at City National Arena in Downtown Summerlin. You may catch a glimpse of the team in action or take to the ice yourself. The general public is welcome for open skate sessions, in-house hockey leagues, camps, and classes. It’s also a great spot to buy official Golden Knights merch.

Las Vegas Aviators at Las Vegas Ballpark | Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Las Vegas Aviators

Downtown Summerlin

Look out for: Minor league baseball next to a Summerlin shopping mall
The Las Vegas Aviators (formerly the 51s at Cashman Field) are a minor league baseball team with home games at the Las Vegas Ballpark in Downtown Summerlin. The 8,000-seat stadium has an easy, breezy atmosphere with comfy net-mesh seats, food counters by local restaurants, and canine team members who retrieve stray bats. Bring your ticket to nearby Frankie’s Uptown for a free beer after the game.

Photo courtesy of Westgate SuperBook

Westgate SuperBook

Off the Strip

Look out for: A jumbo-sized sports betting experience
If you go by pure square footage, the Westgate has the largest sportsbook in the world, with more than 350 seats, including VIP spots, pods, and booths available by reservation. Regular seating is first-come, first-serve. The Superbook also goes big on prop bets, with close to 500 expected for the upcoming Super Bowl. Yes, most Vegas casinos have a sportsbook of some sort, but the SuperBook is the only one with its own dedicated parking lot, giving locals yet another reason to show some loyalty while placing a bet and watching the action on the 220-foot-long 4K video wall.

Photo by Brian Oar, courtesy of Wynn Golf Club

Wynn Golf Club

Wynn Las Vegas

Look out for: Old-school golfing on the Vegas Strip
If you go back a few decades, it wasn’t uncommon for a big resort on the Strip to have its own golf course. The value of both real estate and the water at Lake Mead has caused that tradition to fall by the wayside in recent years. The Wynn even planned to replace its iconic golf course with some kind of lake attraction a few years ago but backpaddled and decided to keep the course, which remains open to the public. It isn’t cheap to play, but you get a great view of the Sphere, which may or may not be judging your swing.

Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty Images

Mayweather Boxing Club


Look out for: Boxing lessons from the guy who trained the best
Long before big-league teams and cage fighting came along, boxing was the sport that drove this town, with some of the biggest championship bouts in history taking place on the Strip. Step inside the ring and learn the sweet science yourself with instruction by Floyd Mayweather Sr. (who guided his son to GOAT status) and Jeff Mayweather. Dewey Cooper handles the MMA and kickboxing training. The gym is quick to point out that the business isn’t affiliated with Floyd Junior, who has his own line of franchised Mayweather Boxing + Fitness studios.

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn Bowl


Look out for: Bowling that’s better with booze, food, and music
Vegas has its share of bowling alleys, most notably at the South Point,Orleans, and Red Rock Resort, but Brooklyn Bowl is a different beast altogether. The restaurant, bar, and concert hall have a prime Strip location on The LINQ promenade and 32 hardwood lines to bowl between bites of fried chicken and sips of beer. You can even book a lane during a concert with the stage in full view.

Photo by Chris Wessling, courtesy of Beer Park

Beer Park

Paris Las Vegas

Look out for: Rooftop viewing parties with Strip views
Beer Park has something most sports bars in Vegas don’t: a rooftop deck with views of the Bellagio fountains across the street. The open-air venue also has more than a hundred beers on tap, wine, cocktails, and game-day grub that includes house-smoked BBQ. The whole thing has a clubhouse feel to it, with high-definition TVs at every angle to watch the latest game.

Photo courtesy of The Park

The Park

The Strip

Look out for: The ultimate party spot to celebrate the Knights
The Park stretches from the T-Mobile Arena to Shake Shack at New York-New York, making it the ultimate party spot before and after Golden Knights games. There’s usually some pop-up fun at Toshiba Plaza, but you’ll want to check out the beer and brats at Beerhaus, roast beef sandwiches at Top Round, and lobster rolls at Luke’s Lobster. Walk across the street for cocktails and live music at NoMad Bar.

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels | Louis Grasse/Stringer/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels

East Valley

Look out for: Star athletes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
The legacy of college sports is strong in Las Vegas, dating back to when the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels won the men’s basketball championship in 1990. Today, the Rebels are currently in a less spectacular season but continue to draw fans to the Thomas & Mack Center. You can also show your support as UNLV athletes compete in baseball, softball, golf, swimming, cross country, and other endeavors, including football, with games taking place at Allegiant Stadium. The Thomas & Mack and Cox Pavilion also host the NBA Summer League each year.



MGM Grand

Look out for: The most fun you’ll have driving golf balls
This isn’t your average, ordinary driving range. Topgolf has four levels of temperature-controlled bays, allowing guests to load up on food and booze while whacking golf balls toward color-coded targets with views of the Vegas Strip as the backdrop. Some keep score on digital screens. Most just hang out and enjoy the fun. You can also sign up for lessons, book a private VIP suite for large parties, or take a dip in a pool. You can’t argue with Topgolf’s success, which has inspired a wave of new golf-related entertainment attractions in 2024.

Allegiant Stadium | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau

Allegiant Stadium Tours

Off the Strip

Look out for: An inside look at the largest stadium in Vegas
The season is over for the Raiders, but Allegiant Stadium is still welcoming football fans for private tours of the 65,000-seat venue. The 75-minute experience, offered on weekends when a major event isn’t taking place, provides rare access to the stadium with interactive multimedia touches like drone cameras capturing guests as they enter. Check out the Al Davis torch (near the “lanai” window overlooking the Strip), owner’s suite, broadcasting booth, and Raiders locker room. The tour ends with the option of drinks on the observation deck.

Flanker Kitchen + Sports Bar | Photo by Anthony Mair, courtesy of Flanker Kitchen + Sports Bar

Flanker Kitchen + Sports Bar

Mandalay Bay

Look out for: One of the newest and coolest sports bars in Vegas
Location is everything in Las Vegas. Flanker is in a perfect spot–the Shoppes at Mandalay Place, to be exact–making it the most convenient sports bar for those walking over to Allegiant Stadium to catch the Super Bowl (or the Raiders’ return this fall), Aces or Desert Dog games at the Michelob Ultra Arena, and the Super Bowl Experience (a four-day fan festival leading up to the big game) at the Mandalay Bay Expo Center. Even better, the menu is pretty awesome, with a killer burger, late-night pizza parties, and a well-stocked cocktail bar.

Las Vegas Desert Dogs at Michelob ULTRA Arena | Ethan Miller/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Las Vegas Desert Dogs

Mandalay Bay

Look out for: The beautiful aggression of professional lacrosse
The Desert Dogs, an expansion franchise for the National Lacrosse League, share the Michelob Ultra Arena with the WNBA world-champion Aces but are starting to build its own following in season two. The team’s owners include Wayne Gretzky, who describes the sport as a cross between hockey and American football. Translation: get ready for some crazy, violent tackles. Former star player Shawn Williams is the general manager and head coach.

Future Stars of Wrestling at FSW Arena | Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Future Stars of Wrestling

East Valley

Look out for: Body slams, headlocks, and trash talking at its finest
Pro Wrestling is equal parts athleticism and showmanship–and is having a resurgence with fans rating matches online and splitting loyalty between WWE and AEW at arenas around the country. Future Stars of Wrestling is the top indie in Vegas, with a training center east of the airport that doubles as the FSW Arena for live shows. Buy a ticket and watch up-and-coming “rasslers,” or sign up and learn the ropes yourself. There’s even a Juniors Division with Saturday afternoon classes for kids 5 to 17.

Photo courtesy of Shelby Heritage Center

Shelby Heritage Center

Off the Strip

Look out for: An only-in-Vegas auto-racing legacy on display
Shelby American, the auto manufacturer behind groundbreaking sports cars like the AC Cobra and Shelby Mustang, has a production plant and visitors center near Town Square along Interstate 15. The Shelby Heritage Center is free to tour, with more than 30 cars on display and exhibits dedicated to founder and champion racer Carroll Shelby. Spend a few bucks at the gift shop or sign up for behind-the-scenes tours to see how the cars are assembled, painted, and perfected.

Xtreme Couture MMA | Brandon Magnus/UFC/Getty Images

Xtreme Couture MMA

Off the Strip

Look out for: On-the-mat training courtesy of a UFC legend
As the home city of UFC, Las Vegas is loaded with mixed martial arts training facilities. If you’re serious about grappling, striking, and jiu-jitsu, it’s hard to beat Xtreme Couture MMA, which is owned and operated by former champ Randy Couture, one of the all-time greats. The facility is decked out with wrestling mats, punching bags, weight-training equipment, and its own version of an octagon, complete with a surrounding cage.

Greg Doherty/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The Raider Image

Town Square

Look out for: Postseason discounts
If you’re searching for swag, the Raider Image has you covered as the official merchandise outlet for the Las Vegas Raiders. There is no cheap bootleg stuff here. Stock up on jerseys, t-shirts, jackets, and other gear to show your loyalty. The Town Square location is the most convenient, but you can also find the Raider Image at Fashion Show mall, Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, Shoppes at Mandalay Place, Downtown Summerlin, and, of course, inside Allegiant Stadium. Look for stores by the C and E gates while waiting for a flight at Harry Reid International Airport.

The George Sportsmen’s Lounge | Photo by Clint Jenkins, courtesy of The George Sportsmen’s Lounge

The George Sportsmen’s Lounge


Look out for: A next-level sports-viewing experience
The George is one of the coolest things about the new Durango resort in the Southwest Valley. The sports bar has a fantastic layout for viewing any game, whether on the surrounding collection of television screens or the massive video wall at the adjacent sportsbook. The menu is loaded with delicious food and cocktails, including a Root Beer Old Fashioned made with locally produced syrup. The George also has an action-packed backyard with its own outdoor video wall, games, and bar with a staggered stadium-style layout of tables. Live entertainment keeps things interesting during commercials.

Photo courtesy of Life Time Fitness

Life Time Fitness


Look out for: A fierce workout with light paddles
Chicken N Pickle is coming to Henderson later this year, and Electric Pickle is scheduled to open in the Southwest in 2025, sharing a mission to turn pickleball into a social experience with food and dining. Until that happens, you’ll have to make do with the pickleball courts at parks throughout Las Vegas. If you prefer to beat the heat indoors, Life Time Fitness has indoor tennis and pickleball courts for those who sign up for memberships.

Silver Knights at The Dollar Loan Center | Candice Ward/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Silver Knights


Look out for: The best hockey that doesn’t involve the Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights are so popular that the team’s success inspired the creation of the Silver Knights, a sister minor league team with its own home arena in Henderson. The Dollar Loan Center (yes, that’s what it’s called) is a fun spot for watching games at a price that’s more affordable than the T-Mobile Arena. Yet another arena, the America First Center on Water Street is another arena where the team practices and hosts public skating.

NBA G League Ignite at The Dollar Loan Center | Mike Kirschbaum/National Basketball Association/Getty Images

New Dollar Loan Arena


Look out for: Up-and-coming sports heroes
The Dollar Loan Center is a busy place these days. The Las Vegas Thrill are the newest tenants, kicking off an inaugural season as one of seven teams in the Pro Volleyball Federation. See the first-ever home game as the Thrill face the Omaha Supernovas on February 15 Meanwhile, the arena is also home to the Ignite, a developmental team in the NBA G League, which preps prospects for the NBA Draft. New this season: a mascot named Bluff and the Shock Squad dance team to pump up the crowd. If you still need a football fix after the Super Bowl, the Vegas Knight Hawks are kicking off a new season in late March 31 as part of the Indoor Football League.

Photo courtesy of Raiders Tavern & Grill

Raiders Tavern & Grill


Look out for: Officially sanctioned football viewing
The Raiders Tavern & Grill, the only restaurant officially affiliated with the Las Vegas football team, has jerseys, helmets, and other Raiders memorabilia throughout the dining room with views of the pool deck at The M Resort. Between burgers, BBQ, pizza, and tacos, there’s a lot of variety—even on the overnight menu that runs until the wee hours of 3 am. Watch NFL games on one of 45 televisions while sipping on beer from 20 taps. Don’t leave without browsing the gift shop.

Rob Kachelriess is a full-time freelance writer who covers travel, dining, entertainment, and other fun stuff for Thrillist. He’s based in Las Vegas but enjoys exploring destinations throughout the world, especially in the Southwest United States. Otherwise, he’s happy to hang out at home with his wife Mary and their family of doggies. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.