Las Vegas: Battleground For Awesomeness
Have you ever wanted to witness giant monster trucks launch them selves twenty feet in the air? How about enjoying the world’s best cowboys riding massive bulls and bucking broncos? Has anyone ever asked you either of these crucial questions? If your response is ‘no’ then it’s time for me to take you into the wild world of Las Vegas sports. If you answer was ‘yes’ then I suggest you keep reading as well.
Las Vegas is a very special place in that there are many atypical types of entertainment and events not readily available anywhere else in the world. Sometimes I am forced to believe that Las Vegas has so much to offer at any given point in time that it’s own residents become overwhelmed. They become overwhelmed to the point that forget about all the world class experiences waiting for them in their own backyard.
What are all these ‘Wild’ sports that I speak of? Where and when do they take place? All will be revealed below.
Not So Mainstream Sports
- Monster Jam World Finals
This is as good as it gets. Monster Jam is an annual monster truck competition to determine who is the best in the world. The 3-day event is held at Sam Boyd Stadium every March.
Since 2014 the top 32 monster truck drivers face off in two separate competitions, the Racing Championship and the Freestyle Championship.
The Racing Championship race track is built for speed. Monster trucks will go as fast as 75 mph on straightaways and the track itself extends outside into the parking lot. The Freestyle Championship is full of jumps and obstacles. This event is a crowd favorite because of wild crashes that occur.
If you don’t make it to any other sporting event on this entire list, please make a concerted effort to experience Monster Jam. I promise that it is unlike anything you have ever seen. I go every year with the guy who trims my trees and does my landscaping. He actually introduced me to monster truck racing when I first moved out here. I haven’t met anyone more excited about this sport then Chris. If you have any questions about anything monster truck related then contact him at his Henderson Tree Service Company. He would be thrilled to talk to you. He’ll more than likely give you a killer deal on some of his tree services.
- NASCAR & Motorsports
If you haven’t heard, Las Vegas hosts some of the best professional car racing events year round at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The racing complex is just northeast of downtown Las Vegas and can hold more than one hundred and fifteen thousand spectators.
The Speedway hosts stock car racing, pickup truck racing, off road racing and drag racing. There are several tracks where different races take place at various times during the year. I’ve listed some of the more notable races below.
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – The Kobalt 400 (stock cars)
- NASCAR Xfinity Series – The Boyd Gaming 300 (stock cars)
- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – The Rhino Linings 350 (pickup trucks)
- NHRA Nationals – Spring & Winter (drag racing)
National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)
National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)
Check out the official NASCAR website HERE for details on races in Las Vegas.
- World Series of Rodeo
Las Vegas has hosted the national finals for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) since 1985. Also known as the ‘World Series of Rodeo’ or the ‘Super Bowl of Rodeo,’ the National Finals take place each December at the Thomas & Mack Center. Yep, that’s the same place the UNLV Running Rebels play baskeball.
For more than a week you can watch world champion cowboys compete in a number of different events.
- Bareback Riding
- Steer Wrestling
- Bull Riding
- Barrel Racing
- Saddle Bronco Riding
- World Series of Poker
I think it’s safe to say that most people know that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) exists and is located in Las Vegas. What I don’t think most people know is that you can go and watch the players in action for free.
The WSOP is made up of multiple poker tournaments played in the months of June and July. There are 65 events in total and most all of the tournament play is readily accessible for anyone to come and spectate. Don’t be surprised if you run into all the big names like Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu or Johnny Chan.
Caesars Entertainment sponsors the WSOP and the poker tournaments, which are spread out through their various casinos. Check online for schedules and dates.
- Professional Video Gaming
Now before you go rolling your eyes and hurl the “video games are not a sport” argument my way, take a moment and consider what constitutes an actual ‘sport.’ I consider an act or skill that an individual or several people can perform better than a vast majority of the world’s population to make them athletes. When those athletes are disciplined in their training so that they compete against the toughest competition in a structured event for others to officiate, judge and spectate, then I believe we are referring to a sport.
The Evolution Championship Series (EVO) is the perhaps the world’s most prestigious video game tournament. This tournament is set to have contestants compete specifically in fighting based video games. The world finals just so happen to take place in Las Vegas every year.
EVO attracts the best video gamers from around the entire world. It is an open tournament format, so if you’re more of an action taker then spectator, sign up and test your luck. The 2016 tournament is scheduled for July 15 through July 17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
- Professional Pool Play
Both the National Singles and National Team Championships take place every year in Las Vegas. Both tournaments include two events in which individuals and teams compete in 8-Ball and 9-Ball play.
The pool tournaments are held at the Westgate Hotel. The individual championship tournament takes place in late April, while the team championship tournament takes place early August.
Pool is something that many people can relate to. Some people grow up playing on a pool table in their home, have played pool at a friends place or played at least one time in some sort of establishment. However, watching professional pool players and the level of skill they possess really makes you appreciate the sport that much more.
This list is just beginning to touch the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of other sporting events in Las Vegas that never reach mainstream media. I wanted to bring awareness to several of those sports and let you know how fortunate we are to have them be so accessible for our own entertainment.
If Football or Basketball isn’t your thing, it doesn’t mean that you’re not a sports person. It may just mean that you haven’t yet discovered which sport(s) truly speak to you. I know there is no better place in the country to watch and enjoy a wide variety of sporting events. I suggest that you take full advantage of it.
Hit Me Up to share your thoughts, concerns, or to just let me know how awesome I am.