PHOTO: The Wynn Hotel sportsbook in Las Vegas. (Courtesy Flickr/Leyla.a)
Being at a Super Bowl game is certainly a bucket list item for many. There’s nothing quite like being at the big game live and in-person, especially if your favorite team is involved.
The next best thing, and some will argue that it actually is the best thing, is going to Las Vegas.
Done correctly, attending an off-site event weekend in Vegas is just as extraordinary as an on-site event. That is, while Sin City is spectacular, when there’s a big boxing or MMA event or concert live in town, it’s also incredible for "off-site" happenings such as the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Last year, some 300,000 visitors descended on Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend and spent $125 million over just three days. So if you’re planning a stay, the time to move is now since rooms for that weekend will be few and far between – if not already sold out.
On Vegas.com, you will find everything that fits your philosophy, whether that’s "Who cares where we stay, we’ll only be there to sleep" (Circus Circus downtown for $54 a night) to "It’s Vegas, let’s do it right" (The Cosmopolitan on the Strip, $252 per night).
Obviously, one of the big draws, maybe the main draw, is the opportunity to place a legal monetary wager on the game. Or, should we say, dozens of wagers. Betting on the game is far more advanced, and fun, when done in Las Vegas, especially for what are known as "prop bets."
Prop bets date back to the 1986 Super Bowl when you could place a wager on whether the Chicago Bears’ 300-pound defensive lineman, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, who had been used as a blocker and ball carrier on offense during the season, would score a touchdown in the Super Bowl (he did).
Some of the "off-the-field" prop bets are popular as well, including Will The National Anthem Be Controversial?; What Color of Liquid (clear water, orange, red, blue, etc.) Be Dumped On The Winning Coach?; What Song Will Lady Gaga Play First During The Halftime Show?; Which Team Will Win The Coin Toss? and so on.
Then there are the pre-game parties leading up to the big game, and who does a party better than Las Vegas?
Ahead of the Sunday, Feb. 5 game, the city’s amazing nightclub scene will be hosting parties thrown by such Super Bowl party mainstays as Playboy, whose parties are legendary, as well as highlighted by big-name DJs and acts including Calvin Harris, Tiesto and The Chainsmokers, among others.
And that doesn’t even include Vegas’ compelling artist-in-residence on-going shows and acts, including Britney Spears, who will perform Friday and Saturday of Super Bowl weekend, as will Celine Dion.
As for the game itself, some people will opt to watch it in one of Las Vegas’ many sportsbooks to continue to place prop bets as the game continues. If you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, the city is teeming with events. Like anything in Las Vegas, you get what you pay for. You can find an a regular old bar and pay a la carte, or you can back to the aforementioned nightclubs that will be setting up big screens and will have bottle service (that include a minimum commitment, so plan accordingly) or you can hit up any number of places in between that, for about $150-250 per person are hosting Super Bowl parties that include top-shelf liquor and a buffet for its all-inclusive price.
No matter how you slice it, Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend is extraordinary.