With the major addition of the Vegas Golden Knights to the NHL in 2017, and the announcement of the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas in 2020, the “Entertainment Capital of the World” is growing as a sports destination. Along with new professional teams, Vegas will welcome in brand new stadiums and play host to major tournaments. Here is the latest sports news in Las Vegas.
New Baseball Stadium
On February 23, ground was broken on a brand new minor league baseball stadium, which will be the future home of the Las Vegas 51s, the first professional baseball team for the destination. The new Las Vegas ballpark will be set in the Downtown Summerlin planned community, which is about 20 minutes from the strip and just south of City National Arena, the practice facility for the Vegas Golden Knights.
The 10,000-person stadium will host home games for the Las Vegas 51s, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, along with other civic, community, nonprofit and sporting events. The site will be landscaped to complement the Summerlin master planned community and will provide a range of seating options, including 20 suites, party zones and decks, a kids' zone, and bars and a pool beyond the outfield wall.
San Antonio Stars
WNBA’s San Antonio Stars relocated to Las Vegas and were renamed the Las Vegas Aces. MGM Resorts International will own and operate the team, which will begin play in Las Vegas in the 2018 season. They will play 17 home games at the Mandalay Bay Events Center between May and September. The Aces have become the second major professional sports team in town, and the first professional basketball team.
The NFL’s Oakland Raiders will move to move to Las Vegas following the completion of a new, 65,000-seat indoor stadium. At the end of 2017, the team broke ground on a 62-acre plot across from the Mandalay Bay Resort. The $1.9 billion stadium is set to open in 2020.
Las Vegas Lights FC
Las Vegas’ newest professional sports team, the United Soccer League (USL)’s Las Vegas Lights FC, will kick off its first regular season match on Saturday, March 17 on the road against Fresno FC. On Saturday, March 24, at 8 p.m. the Lights’ first regular season home match will be against in-state foe Reno 1868 FC at Cashman Field. The Lights will finish the month with another home match on Saturday, March 31, against the Swope Park Rangers.
Las Vegas will host four NCAA basketball conference tournaments including the West Coast Conference (WCC), ending on March 6; the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in the Orleans Arena, Mountain West Conference (MWC) in the Thomas & Mack Center, and Pacific Athletic Conference (PAC-12) in the T-Mobile Arena. The WAC, MWC, and PAC-12 tournament will all take place from March 7-10.
Mountain West eSports Showdown
Held at UNLV in conjunction with the Mountain West Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championships, the Mountain West eSports Showdown will pit Boise State eSports against UNLV's team 8-Bit in three popular eSports games: League of Legends, Rocket League and Overwatch.
The eSports teams from Boise State and UNLV, each consisting of up to 15 participants, will compete on March 8 and 9 in the Strip View Pavilion inside the Thomas and Mack Center, followed by the Mountain West eSports Showdown Main Event on March 10 inside Cox Pavilion. Admission to the event is free for ticketholders to the Men's and Women's Basketball Championships.
Big League Weekend
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and the Las Vegas 51s announced the schedule for the 2018 Big League Weekend at Cashman Field. The Chicago Cubs will make their 14th straight appearance in Las Vegas for a two-game series against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday and Sunday, March 17-18.
The Cleveland Indians will make their second all-time appearance in Las Vegas for Big League Weekend. Cleveland defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 13-7, on March 29, 1998 before a sellout crowd at Cashman Field the last time they were in town.
Game times for this rematch of the 2016 World Series are 4:05 p.m. PT on March 17 and 1:05 p.m. PT on March 18. Game times are subject to change due to television.
Tickets available on ticketmaster.com.