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Due to frequent sell-out nights, advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.
Opening times this week:
Monday
8:30pm - Midnight
Tuesday
8:30pm - Midnight
Wednesday
8:30pm - Midnight
Thursday
8:30pm - Midnight
Friday
8:30pm - Midnight
Saturday
8:30pm - Midnight
Sunday
8:30pm - Midnight
Due to frequent sell-out nights, advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.
Opening times this week:
Monday
8:30pm - Midnight
Tuesday
8:30pm - Midnight
Wednesday
8:30pm - Midnight
Thursday
8:30pm - Midnight
Friday
8:30pm - Midnight
Saturday
8:30pm - Midnight
Sunday
8:30pm - Midnight
Due to frequent sell-out nights, advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.
Opening times this week:
Monday
8:30pm - Midnight
Tuesday
8:30pm - Midnight
Wednesday
8:30pm - Midnight
Thursday
8:30pm - Midnight
Friday
8:30pm - Midnight
Saturday
8:30pm - Midnight
Sunday
8:30pm - Midnight

Sports Vegas

Boxing – La Concha

While his impressive career took him across the world – including matches in “Bahamas, Germany, Philippines, Malaysia, Zaire, Indonesia” and more – Muhammad Ali unquestionably helped define his legacy in arenas throughout Las Vegas. Ali fought in Las Vegas a total of seven times, winning five of the matches most of which were held at the Las Vegas Convention Center throughout the 1960s and 1970s. During this period, was widely considered to be the “most famous professional boxer [of] the 20th Century,” described by famed-promoter Bob Arum as “the most transforming figure of [the] time” . Ali, a chosen name after his conversion to Islam in the 1960s, captivated the world by his sheer skill and outspoken nature.

Ali’s final victory in Las Vegas arrived in 1975, in which he faced off against Roy Lyle at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This was Ali’s second attempt at defending his title as heavyweight champion of the world, his second reign under that highly prestigious distinction. With the stakes high and media attention reaching a fervor, Ali temporarily settled in Las Vegas in the weeks before his fight to train and practice. Among the properties he stayed at were those owned by the Doumani family, including the La Concha Motel and the El Morocco Motel, the latter of which was informally dubbed the “[Headquarters] of Muhammad Ali”. A kinship was struck between Ali and the Doumani family, including with the family’s young sons, Lorenzo and Freddy. The young boys were showered with gifts, toured around the city, and even got to train alongside Ali in his lead up to the fight.

The bout between Ali and Lyle saw the former engaging his opponent in multiple long rounds in an attempt to tire him out, resulting in Ali directly receiving a number of Lyle’s “jabs and right hands”. Finally, the 11th round culminated in a knockout, with “Ali [managing] to corner Lyle on the ropes,” unleashing a “barrage of punches” that earned him a victory and allowed him to retain his champion status. The bout between Ali and Lyle culminated in an 11th round knockout, and attracted over 6,500 spectators and generating over $300,000 in revenue.

 

Baseball, Soccer – Cashman Field

Cashman Field, in the almost-80 years since its opening in the 1940s, has existed in two separate iterations. Originally, from 1947 to 1983, the stadium primarily focused on minor league baseball, but intermittently hosted unique events such as high school and college-level football, as well as Silverado and Helldorado rodeos. Las Vegas’ first professional sports team, the Las Vegas Wranglers men’s baseball team, called the stadium home “from 1947-52 and again in 1957-58,” during a decade in which many “cities across the country [were losing] their baseball teams to major league shifts and expansion and the rapid emergence of television”. During the 1960s and 1970s, the stadium experienced a period of infrequency and eventual inactivity, during which the old Cashman Field was demolished and redeveloped.

In 1983, the stadium reopened in its second iteration and offered 10,000-seats across 50 acres and over 483,000-square-feet. This new iteration of Cashman Field introduced “its first full-time tenant,” in the form of the Las Vegas Stars, then a minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres. Ticket prices during the Stars-period in the 1980s ranged from $1.50 for children to $4.50 for field level seats, which often sold out before opening day. Cashman Field quickly gained a reputation among baseball players and fans as a “hitter’s dream and a pitcher’s nightmare,” due to its unique dimensions and layout. In 2007, the Las Vegas Stars were “inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame,” recognized for both their success and their impact on sporting in Las Vegas.

In 2001, the Stars rebranded as the Las Vegas 51s, which themselves rebranded in 2019, donning their current team name, the Las Vegas Aviators. With this most recent rebranding, the Las Vegas Aviators also adopted a new home, the Las Vegas Ballpark, constructed in Summerlin in 2019. Despite no longer having a permanent baseball tenant, Cashman Field is the current home to the Las Vegas Lights Football Club, and the stadium itself has been reconfigured into “a full-time professional soccer venue.”

 

Horse Racing

The 1950s saw a massive surge in popularity of horse racing in the United States, with experts estimating it being “the number one spectator sport in the United States” at the time. Driven primarily by the rising popularity of home televisions and the prominence of equestrian sports in the Olympics, the popularity of horse racing also allowed for the horses themselves to occasionally become celebrities in their own right, such as Nashua, Native Dancer, and Gallant Fox. With the prominence of gambling in popular horse racing, it was only natural that Las Vegas would be touted as a potential home for the sport.

Seeking to capitalize off of the buzz around horse racing, New York-based promoter Joseph M. Smoot arrived to Las Vegas in 1946, in a “red Buick convertible” driven by eventual-founder of the Las Vegas Sun, Hank Greenspun. Their brief friendship, likely sabotaged by Smoot’s secrecy and unethical business dealings, was nonetheless recounted in Greenspun’s 1966 biography, Where I Stand: The Record of a Reckless Man. Smoot’s “big dreams for a racetrack in Las Vegas” were funded by 8,000 investors and an initial offering of $2 million; it’s believed that Smoot exaggerated his credentials to secure the financing, having claimed to have built tracks in Florida and California. Complications, false-starts, and legal troubles not only resulted in a delayed opening for the track, but in the removal of Smoot from the project entirely, resulting in the investors themselves having to step in to complete the facility.

With costs exceeding $4.5 million, the Las Vegas Jockey Club finally opened on September 4, 1953. Between technical malfunctions and a poorly-designed parking lot, both of which left visitors frustrated, the Las Vegas Jockey Club failed to find an audience and closed after just 13-days of operations. After briefly reopening for quarter horse racing and auto racing in the following years, the Las Vegas Jockey Club was eventually demolished in the 1960s. Today, the land is “occupied by the Westgate Hotel, the Las Vegas Convention Center and part of the Las Vegas Country Club.”

 

Jai-Alai – MGM Grand

Originally called “pelota vasca,” or Basque ball in its country of origin, Spain, the game of jai-alai (pronounced hie-a-lie) first arrived to the United States via Cuba in the early-1900s. Jai alai developed in Miami, Florida well through the 1950s and 1960s, where the game began to gain national attention due to its fast-paced thrills, high rates of attendance, and unique pari-mutuel betting strategy, in which “those who bet on the winners of a [match] share the total amount wagered less a percentage for management.”

Jai-alai can be played either singles or doubles, and involves players spread across a three-walled, padded court, known as a “cancha”. Armed with “cestas,” or hand-worn curved baskets, players take turns swinging a hard rubber ”pelota,” or ball, with the goal of “[making] the opposing player miss the ball or foul it out”. The ball is known for its high-speed, often travelling “in the range of 150 mph, the fastest of any sporting object in the world”. This high-level of danger, as well as the theatrics and visual uniqueness of the game, made jai-alai a perfect match for Las Vegas in the 1970s, where it began at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in 1974.

The first season of jai-alai at the property was a rousing success, attended by an average of 1,300 people per night who wagered a total of $45,000 per night. Tickets were sold for as little as $3.30 and, when paired with the inherent curio of the game, resulted in high-anticipation for a follow-up season. However, a number of challenges faced the sport at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, including labor issues and boycotts, issues with immigration agencies, and the deadly fire at the property that occurred in 1980. Jai-alai lasted at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino until 1983.

 

Joe Louis – Moulin Rouge

The “grandson of a slave and the great grandson of a slave owner,” Joe Louis was born in Lafayette, Alabama on May 13, 1914. An environment of racial tension in the South led his family to relocate to Detroit when Louis was a young boy. A chance visit to Brewster’s East Side Gymnasium with a friend in the 1920s changed Louis’ life, introducing him to the sport of boxing. Across the Midwest, Louis gained a reputation as a powerful and technically-adept fighter and was undefeated in professional bouts until a 1936 match against German fighter Max Schmeling resulted in a 12th round knockout. While Louis’ career had certainly been viewed by some through a racial context up until that point, it was brought to the forefront in his rematch against Schmeling in 1938. While global tensions were high in the prelude to World War II, the rematch between Louis and Schmeling took on a geopolitical context: “Schmeling was feted in Germany, especially by the Nazis,” while Louis was viewed as “the first [Black American] to achieve hero worship that was previously reserved for whites only” (Schwartz, n.d.). Louis defeated Schmeling with an eighth round knockout, becoming the new heavyweight champion of the world.

Louis leveraged his success in the ring into both entrepreneurship and activism in his community, going as far as “paying back the city of Detroit for any welfare money his family had received” while he was growing up. In addition to business enterprises like the Joe Louis Insurance Company and the Joe Louis Milk Company, Louis was one of the original investors in Las Vegas’ first non-segregated hotel and casino, the Moulin Rouge. Opened in 1955, the Moulin Rouge also featured Louis as a greeter and even occasional performer. Despite its closure due to financial mismanagement in 1955, the property “successfully challenged the long-standing segregation practices of the Las Vegas [hotel and casino] industry.

 

Bowling, Wrestling, Roller Derby – Showboat

The Showboat Hotel and Casino was “the first resort built within Las Vegas city limits,” and often billed itself as the city’s first resort-hotel, seeking to attract both tourists and local alike. Located at 2800 Fremont Street, the property set itself apart from its contemporaries by offering a large number of rooms, popular deals on dining, and a variety of unique sports offerings. Despite the property’s many upgrades and expansions, innovations in sports entertainment were reliably offered over the property’s 50+ years in operation. The Showboat hosted some of the final matches of the Los Angeles Thunderbirds roller derby team, high-profile boxing matches, televised pool tournaments between major-figures like Minnesota Fats and Willie Mosconi, as well as professional wrestling events.

In the early 1980s, as Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation, or WWF, is making groundbreaking headwinds in the field of televised professional wrestling, a rival emerged in the form of Verne Gagne’s American Wrestling Association, or AWA, which sought to establish itself as a worthy competitor in the industry. The AWA established itself in both Atlantic City and Las Vegas, at the Showboat Hotel and Casino’s newly-constructed sports pavilion. Numerous matches and tournaments were held at the property, including a noteworthy match between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant in 1982. The face-off generated nationwide buzz, and was designed as “a 14-man, $50,000 battle royal.”

Despite the popularity of professional wrestling during this period, the Showboat’s most consistent and “signature attraction” was professional bowling. The Professional Bowlers Association, or PBA, selected the property as a designated venue for various tournaments and special events, including the PBA Senior Tour and the Showboat PBA Invitational. A 2009 Las Vegas Review-Journal article referred to the Showboat as “the most famous bowling center in the country” at one point, due to its prominence on televised PBA matches in the 1970s and 1980s.

 

Pickleball – Plaza

Despite speculation over the name of the sport, the origins of Pickleball are largely agreed upon: John Pritchard and Bill Bell conceived the sport out of necessity in the summer of 1965. While looking for a family-friendly way to pass the time during a Washington summer, Pritchard and Bell “set up a badminton net but couldn’t find a shuttlecock or other equipment,” so they improvised by lowering the net and mixing the elements, equipment, and techniques of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. The name of the sport, allegedly coined by Pritchard’s wife, referred to pickle boats in crew races, usually consisting of “non-starters among the rowers”. Other sources claim the sport was named after the family dog.

The sport has gained traction in the years since its inception, particularly with an older demographic, due to the game’s small court size and low physical impact. However, the game’s appeal has recently broadened, with experts attributing the growth to its “relative affordability” and inclusivity. Further expansion came in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the distanced nature of the game, with USA Pickleball estimating that, as of 2021, there were almost 5 million active Pickleball players across the country.

As part of their extensive 2016 restorations, the Plaza Hotel and Casino added a total of 12 permanent Pickleball courts to their fifth floor pool deck, with an additional championship court that can be converted into four additional courts. The Plaza is “the only hotel/casino in Las Vegas with dedicated courts for [the] fast growing sport,” and hosted the inaugural Las Vegas Pickleball Open, attended by over 400 players competing for a $25,000 prize (Jones, 2018).

 

Ice Dancing – Flamingo

Over the course of over 35 years, creative partners George Arnold (1922-1997) and Bill Moore (1926-2012), almost singlehandedly introduced ice dancing to the Las Vegas Strip as a viable and artistic staple of the city’s entertainment landscape. Arnold and Moore not only produced dozens of shows themselves, in Las Vegas and across the world, but were talented dancers in their own right. Arnold, originally a professional cabaret ice skater from Glendale, California, got his start in the Ice Capades as a young man, even earning the title of the “Fred Astaire of the Ice” due to his unique ability to tap dance while skating. Moore, a native of Gateshead, England, was also a trained dancer, as well as a veteran show producer and designer.

Perhaps their most famous collaborations came in the form of their controversial “…On Ice” series of productions, among them Rhythm on Ice and Nudes of Ice, the latter of which garnered massive attention in the 1980s “by the likes of Andy Rooney and David Letterman,” even earning references on popular television shows such as Alf and Murphy Brown. Despite the provocative titles, the shows were often reviewed as tasteful, and featured limited nudity. In Las Vegas, alone, the duo produced dozens of shows at properties such as the Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino, the El Cortez Hotel and Casino, and at the Union Plaza.

One of their longest tenures, however, was at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino, which was home to two of the duo’s productions, City Lites and Razzle Dazzle, which ran for a combined total of over 20 years, often selling out and constantly being updated to stay fresh and feature new and exciting performers. Both Arnold and Moore continued to produce shows around the world until the time of their respective deaths, with the latter even remarking that the duo had “never had a flop” over their decades-long partnership.

 

Rodeo – Helldorado

Rodeo has, in recent years, become an integral aspect of Las Vegas’ entertainment and tourism landscape for decades, with major events like the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) and the PBR (Pro Bull Riders) Finals tournaments having been held in the city and drawing massive crowds, with estimates surpassing a combined total of 240,000 in 2019 and 2022, respectively. While PBR announced its departure from Las Vegas in 2022, NFR extended its contract with the Las Vegas Board of Trustees in 2023, which ensures the tournament will be held in the city until 2035.

Las Vegas’ rodeo history dates back almost a century, to 1935, when some of the first professional rodeo competitions were held downtown as part of the first-ever Helldorado Days parade. Conceived by the Elks Lodge No. 1468 with the aim of both celebrating Las Vegas heritage and attracting repeat visitation with tourists, the Helldorado Days celebrations included a diverse variety of programming, from a facial hair competition, a strict pioneer dress code, a beauty parade, and, of course, the rodeo.

The star of this inaugural rodeo was Bobby, billed as “the only trained steer in existence,” who could jump over entire automobiles and was primarily used a bucking steer during performances. Bobby, himself, was a Brahman bull, known “in practically every rodeo of any note in the nation and was one of the hits of the Madison Square Garden rodeo” held in 1934. On average, a Brahman bull weighs within the range of 1,600 to 2,200 pounds, and they are typically preferred for use in rodeo due to their distinctive long horns and large size. Events involving bulls in rodeos can range from bareback riding, steer wrestling, and tie-down roping; the largest payout in Helldorado history arrived in 1984, in which “riders competed for a $257,877 purse,” estimated at $607,956 total when adjusted for inflation.

 

Basketball – Palms

At the time of the opening of their long-gestating Palms Casino Resort property in 2001, the Maloof family were also majority owners in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Sacramento Kings team, a tenure they held for 14-years – the “longest in the franchise’s 65-year history”. Under the Maloof’s ownership, the organization saw “seven playoff-qualifying seasons” and over 550 regular season wins, contributing to the team’s momentum and popularity in the early-2000s. The Maloof even designated 24 of the Palms’ rooms to specifications that might attract and accommodate professional basketball players, complete with “longer-than-normal beds and higher-than-normal showers.”

These sport-specific initiatives expanded even in further in 2005, when the Palms property underwent a significant expansion, with the opening of the Fantasy Tower, a $600 million undertaking that offered a number of bespoke themed-rooms, including the $50,000 per-night “Hardwood suite”. The 10,000 square-foot room features two bedrooms, a game room, a hidden whiskey room, as well as a “regulation-sized half basketball court,” in which the padded walls fold down into courtside beds. On-site to christen the “Hardwood suite,” designed in the same color scheme as the Sacramento Kings, were players and cheerleaders from the Kings organization, including point guard Mike Bibby.

After the Palms was acquired by Station Casinos in 2016, the property underwent a $690 million renovation, that included the remodeling of the themed-suites. Today, the “Hardwood suite” boasts a black and white polka dot color scheme, and is accompanied with art from street artists such as “Joshua Vides, Patrick Martinex, Cryptik, and MADSTEEZ.”

 

Pool/Billiards – Doc & Eddy’s Pool Hall

The Doc & Eddy’s pool hall franchise arrived to Las Vegas in the 1980s, with additional locations across the western United States, such as Arizona, New Mexico, and Montana. Located on the corner of Spring Mountain Road and Arville Street, the property is currently a sports bar located in what has since become Las Vegas’ Chinatown neighborhood. At the time of its opening, Doc & Eddy’s was part of a surge in popularity of cue sports, such as pool, billiards, and snooker. While often used interchangeably, each game has its own unique intricacies, rules, and strategies.

While the origins of games like pool and billiards are still in question – sources differ between numerous countries, including Spain and England, across the 1500s and 1600s – the 1980s surge in popularity was largely driven by the growing media landscape. Televised pool tournaments televised between major-figures like Minnesota Fats and Willie Mosconi on national television, as well as noteworthy films such as 1986’s The Color of Money drove the game to new heights, introducing it to a new generation of players. Additionally, the 1980s saw the establishing of a permanent headquarters to one of the sport’s key governing bodies, the Billiard Congress of America, which oversaw the development of new tournaments and trade shows during this period.

Las Vegas has played an integral role in the popularization of pool and billiards in recent years, with the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino emerging as a go-to destination for high-profile tournaments, including both the APA (American Pool Players Association) World Pool Championships and the APA Poolplayer Championships. In 2017, the Westgate cemented itself in pool history as host to the Guinness World Records-certified “World’s Largest Pool Tournament,” which consisted of 12,800 players across 327 tables, all competing for a purse of $1.2 million.

 

Chess – Stardust Resort and Casino

February 7th, 1965 saw the inaugural National Open Chess Tournament held at the Stardust Hotel and Casino, which went on to host the tournament annually throughout the late-1960s and 1970s. The high-profile event was regularly attended by high-level players such as Lina Grumette, Larry Evans, and Robert Byrne. Emerging victorious at the Stardust, however, was Polish-American grandmaster Samuel Reshevsky, who bested multiple opponents over the course of eight games, taking home the top prize of $750 and the “silver cup ‘Stardust Trophy,’ symbolic of the National Open Championship.”

A chess game, at the elite level, can “last 7, 8, or even 9 hours,” and requires a high degree of concentration and discipline, as well as intense physical conditioning (Kumar, 2020). Grandmasters, such as Anatoly Karpov, often report losing weight during tournaments, with experts estimating that multi-day tournament play can burn as much as 6,000 calories per day, “three times what an average person consumes in a day”. This physical rigor is largely due to elevated breathing rates, higher blood pressure, and stress responses like muscle contractions experienced during matches. Chess superstar Magnus Carlsen even goes as far as limiting the number of tournaments he participates in to account for recovery time between matches.

The debate over chess’ status as a sport is ongoing, with enthusiasts citing not only the physical and mental elements of the game, but also the fact that the game draws international audiences and contains “no unknown variables” or elements of luck. Additionally, chess has historically inspired national fervor, such as the highly-politicized Cold War face-off between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in 1972. In 1999, the International Olympic Committee designated the governing body of chess, the FIDE, or the International Chess Federation, as a Global Sporting Organization, alongside the “governing bodies of the sports of Football, Cricket, Swimming, and Auto racing.”

 

Choreographed Swimming – Sahara

One of the signature box office stars of the 1940s and 1950s, Esther Williams (1921-2013) had not intended to enter show business, as she was a celebrated competitive swimmer for a majority of her adolescence and young adulthood. Williams’ aquatic talents had her poised for a professional bout at the 1940 Olympics, but her aspirations were dashed when the ceremony was “canceled with the onset of World War II”. She quickly pivoted to working in a department store, where she was discovered by an “MGM producer and agent”, who brought her in for a meeting with studio leadership, resulting in a teenage Williams signing the very contract that led to her lucrative career with the studio. Humorously, Williams referred to her eventual career in Hollywood as a “consolation prize,” because she considered athletics her lifelong passion.

Williams made a name for herself in the film industry by carving out a niche for her particular skill-set, following a formula of “romance, music, a bit of comedy and a flimsy plot that provided excuses to get [her] into the water”. Among her most popular films are 1945’s The Thrill of Romance, 1952’s Million Dollar Mermaid, and 1947’s This Time for Keeps; throughout the 1940s and early-1950s, Williams was consistently one of the top-ten box office draws in terms of pure money-making. Williams’ career began to falter in the mid-to-late 1950s, due to typecasting and extravagant budgets for her elaborate aquatic set-pieces – “MGM [had] built Ms. Williams a $250,000 swimming pool” that was referred to by her crew as “Pneumonia Alley” – and she broadened her career to include television and stage performance.

In 1954, Williams performed at the Sahara Hotel and Casino, wearing a stunning swimsuit and ornate headpiece, recalling her iconic performances on-screen.

 

Golf – Desert Inn

Soon after opening in 1950, the Desert Inn earned a reputation as “one of the highest-profile resorts in Las Vegas,” given a sense of glamour and regality due to its unique mix of a “country club atmosphere” with celebrities buzzing around the property, such as Eddie Fisher and Frank Sinatra. The Desert Inn was the fifth resort to open on the Las Vegas Strip, following in the footsteps of major properties such as the El Rancho Vegas and the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. The property offered great views of the Strip, over “300 hotel rooms,” a famous showroom, and later included a first-of-its-kind golf course, the Desert Inn Golf Club.

“[The] first golf course built on the Las Vegas Strip,” the Desert Inn Golf Club featured a “very low profile, flat on the ground” design by member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects inductee, Lawrence Hughes, who designed famous courses throughout California and Texas. Upon its opening in 1953, the Desert Inn Golf Club was chosen by the Professional Golfers Association, or PGA, to host the inaugural Tournament of Champions, which was held at the property until 1966. The winner of this tournament, golfer Al Besselink, was awarded $10,000 worth of silver dollars, which was presented to him in a wheelbarrow rolled out by then-owner of the property, Wilbur Clark.

Additionally, the 1970s saw the establishing of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, or LPGA, tournament, the Desert Inn Classic. Famous golfers like JoAnne Carner, Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods all teed off at the Desert Inn Golf Club over the years. The property closed in August 2000, after being acquired by Steve Wynn as the site of his Wynn and Encore properties. In 2005, the Wynn Golf Club opened on the site of the former Desert Inn Golf Club, with 12,000 of the original trees still in place, some of which “are over 70 years old and [measure] over 60 feet tall.”

 

Racing – Caesars Palace

2023 marked the return of Formula One racing to Southern Nevada, “more than 40 years after the Caesars Palace Grand Prix was run in 1981 and 1982”. The Las Vegas Grand Prix, held in November 2023, received worldwide attention and was the result of a $600 million investment from F1 into an extended relationship with the city of Las Vegas as an ongoing venue. Despite traffic obstructions and high ticket costs, the Las Vegas Grand Prix is estimated to have an “economic impact for the area [amounting] to $1.2 billion,” and was attended by over 300,000 people over the course of four nights. While not without technical setbacks, 2023’s race was vastly different from the sport’s initial foray into Las Vegas in the 1980s.

The brainchild of former Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino marketing director Bill Weinberger, the project took a total of five years to develop, with the initial conversations occurring in the mid-1970s, with Weinberger attributing the delayed timeline to “[navigating] the politics of Grand Prix racing” (Langeler, Formula 1 was in Las Vegas more than 40 years ago but it was all very different, 2023). The first rendering of what would become the Caesars Palace Grand Prix track was drawn by Weinberger and F1 official Bernie Eccelstone on the back of a placemat in 1980, with the final track being designed by Las Vegas architect Anthony Marnell. Located in an asphalt lot on the Caesars Palace property, the 2.5 mile circuit contained 14 turns, to be driven over the course of 75 laps. “An outlier in F1 circles,” the Caesars Palace Grand Prix track was essentially “a series of parallel straights connected by tight curves, [sending] drivers in a counter-clockwise direction”. Drivers participating in the race had strong opinions on the layout, with Mario Andretti even referring to the track as a “wonderful go-kart course”.

Both years of the Caesars Palace Grand Prix were marked by low attendance, mechanical issues, and a lack of interest from gamblers and bettors in Las Vegas, despite the superstar drivers who were competing. Andretti, as well as Carlos Reutemann, Alain Prost, and Jacques Laffite all participated, but the victors of the Grand Prix were Alan Jones and Michele Alboreto in 1981 and 1982, respectively. Tickets were sold for as low as $50, or about $168 when adjusted for inflation, a vast difference from the asking price of single-day grandstand tickets for 2023’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, which peaked at $1,645 just weeks before the race began.