Magazine article Sunset

When Tickets Are Tough in Las Vegas

Magazine article Sunset

When Tickets Are Tough in Las Vegas

Article excerpt

THE HIGH ROLLERS wait until the last minute: the airport fills with private jets, and limousine drivers do big business. But the real fans arrive early for major Las Vegas sports events, and their garb is a clear sign of what's happening in town. For December's National Finals Rodeo, it's all cowboy--lizardskin boots and sharp-brimmed Stetsons. For a major fight, the look is urban--flashy, lots of gold. UNLV sweatshirts? You see those all the time.

The Strip comes alive with buzz and gossip: Buster Douglas lookes fat at the weigh-in, Ty Murray got bumped around some on a bull last night, the Rebels might announce a new recruit. The excitement and speculation keep building, and just before events, arenas pulsate with the energy of sports history in the making.

Las Vegas may not have any big-league teams, but it offers a remarkable range of world-class sports events. We list upcoming competitions, with details about tickets, so you can add an event to a Las Vegas itinerary.

THERE'S NO BUSINESS

LIKE PRO BUSINESS

It's been almost 40 years since big-time sports came to Las Vegas with the 1953 golf Tournament of Champions at the Desert Inn. Since then, the city has hosted a number of notable events. Some became part of sports lore--like the time Muhammed Ali (then Cassius Clay) defended his first heavyweight title against Floyd Patterson in 1965--while Evel Knievel's 1969 motorcycle jump and the world armadillo racing championships in the early '80s blurred the line between sport and hype.

But these days, there's not much need to hype Vegas as a sports capital: in just over a month last year, Evander Holyfield won the heavyweight boxing title, Ty Murray won his second consecutive cowboy championship, and the UNLV Runnin' Rebels started their quest for a second consecutive national basketball championship.

TOUGHEST TICKETS

IN TOWN

Getting tickets for main events is difficult on short notice. Scalping is illegal in Nevada, and there are no legal ticket agencies. But if you scan the classifieds, you'll likely see tickets for sale or trade. We list some other sources under each event.

Boxing. The next scheduled championship fight here is November 8, when Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield step inside the ropes at Caesars Palace. Las Vegas has hosted some of the biggest fights in recent years, and many consider it the world's boxing capital. The issue for the championship fights is often less one of ticket availability than of price: a seat at last year's Holyfield-Douglas fight at the Mirage cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000, and the fireworks show and Wynton Marsalis's National Antham probably lasted longer than the bout itself. But even if you don't attend the fight, the host hotel is usually the place to be. Taxis and parking are at a premium, so consider walking over.

Some hotels have frequent fight cards with quality lesser-known boxers; check newspapers and guides for schedules. Tickets run $20 and up. For big fights, contenders often hold public workouts; check with the host hotel or the newspaper.

Rodeo. December 6 through 15, Las Vegas takes on a country and western twang during a veritable cowboy Super Bowl, the National Finals Rodeo. Because scoring is cumulative and each round offers prize money, you don't have to attend the final night to see high drama. …

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