March Madness in Las Vegas

by Vegas Getaways on February 25, 2012

Every year in March, College Hoops fans from across the nation make their annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for March Madness. If you are planning a getaway to Las Vegas for March Madness in 2012 and want a great place to watch the games here are a few options:

Great Atmosphere at the Sports Book

For the ultimate March Madness experience, the best atmosphere is usually found in the sports book. The problem is that each race and sports book has limited seating, so if you want a seat you have to get up early. Our best advice is to scope out a couple of options the night before and then plan on sending 1 or 2 people before 7am to grab some seats.

Any of the Sports Books at the major Las Vegas Hotels will provide a great experience, but some of the larger (and nicest) Sports Books on the Las Vegas Strip can be found at Mandalay Bay, Lagasse’s Stadium at the Palazzo, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, Mirage and Wynn. Even these mega-books fill up quickly on game day so be sure to get there early. Other recommended smaller sports books can be found at Bellagio, Planet Hollywood, Aria and, if you are willing to make a short trip off the Strip, the Hard Rock Hotel. Check our gaming section for a more complete guide to the Best Las Vegas Sports Books.

Another relatively new and excellent off the Strip Sports Book can be found at the M Resort and Casino. This state of the art sports book was voted ‘Best Sports Book for Watching March Madness’ by ESPN Insider in 2010.

Las Vegas Sports Bars

There is nothing better than great bar food and beer to accompany March Madness and guests lucky enough to get a seat at Lagasse’s Stadium at the Palazzo can enjoy a full bar and menu designed by Emeril Lagasse. Another Sports Bar to enjoy the Buzzer Beaters and Bracket Busters at, is the The Sporting House Bar & Grill in NYNY. Opened in October 2010, to replace the ESPN Zone, this bar features 130 high-definition televisions and a decent selection of beers and bar food. Plus it’s just a short walk to the Sports Book.

Other good Sports Bars in Las Vegas include Blondies, located inside the Miracle Mile shopping mall at Planet Hollywood and, if you are willing to make the short drive South on Las Vegas Boulevard, The Yard House at Town Square provides a great selection of draft beers and food to accompany the games. The Mirage is also promoting drink specials at their sports bar. Click this link for details on March Madness events at the Mirage hotel.

If all else fails just head for a March Madness Viewing Party

Many of the hotel/casinos will open up special event rooms with food and drink specials to try and pull in the crowds. If you sleep in and can’t get a seat at the Sports Book, or want to avoid some of the hustle and bustle generally found in the Sports Books, then these viewing parties usually have plenty of space. Keep in mind that if they are not full, the atmosphere may not be as lively and fun.

Planet Hollywood is hosting Hoops On The Mezz offering an all you can eat buffet and open Miller/Coors Light beer bar. Prices start at $49/day (plus tax/fees) for general admission.

Located off the Strip, the LVH (hotel formerly known as The Las Vegas Hilton) boasts one of the largest Sports Books in town with over 300 seats and 28 giant screens. If you can’t find a seat at the Sports Book then head to Hoops Central at the LVH Theater. Admission is free and the event features $2 beers, $2 hot dogs, giant HD screens and over 1,500 seats! Note: Hoops central at LVH is a smoke free environment.

The Stratosphere is opening its theater this year and is offering a four-day wall-to-wall marathon of all the big games. The TI has also announced that it will open it’s newly renovated, non-smoking theater for a viewing party for the first 2 days of March Madness action.

Staying Downtown? The Golden Nugget is hosting March Fever 2012 at The Grand March 15th through March 18th. With giant plasma screens and live betting stations this event will also feature drawings for basketball memorabilia.

Recommend your Favorite place to watch March Madness in Las Vegas

If you know of any other good options for March Madness this year, or if you have been to Las Vegas for March Madness before, just leave a comment below to recommend your favorite Sports Book or Bar.

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