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Las Vegas: Madness in the desert

March 18, 2013|By Jay Jones
  • The expansive sofas inside Lagasse's Stadium at the Palazzo.
The expansive sofas inside Lagasse's Stadium at the Palazzo. (Legasse's Stadium )

With the March Madness college basketball tournament getting underway Tuesday, Sin City is a slam-dunk for hoops fans who can’t afford costly courtside seats. Throughout the tournament, Vegas resorts are offering special enticements for a fraction of the cost of a trip to Atlanta for the Final Four action.

At the Cosmopolitan, the fun gets underway during the second- and third-round games March 21-24, when the hotel’s Brera Ballroom takes on the look and feel of a live sporting event.

Fans will be able to catch the games on one of several big screens, shoot hoops on a specially installed court and place wagers at satellite betting stations.

In addition to the usual game-day food offerings, several of the Cosmopolitan’s restaurants will be serving up their specialties from concession stands inside the ballroom.

Admission packages start at $40 a day. The base price includes two cocktails.

Elsewhere, the giant sports bars along the Strip provide an entirely different game-viewing atmosphere than that at a corner tavern.

The Sporting House at New York-New York is just such a place. With more than 130 high-definition TVs, including two 16-foot monsters, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Fans who want to treat themselves may wish to opt for a private screening room with features designed to make guests feel like they’re in their own skybox at the stadium.

Inside the Palazzo, more than 100 TVs will be tuned to the games at Lagasse’s Stadium. But instead of hard plastic seats, guests there catch the action from comfy sofas. Sports enthusiasts can choose from either celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse’s signature cuisine or traditional tailgate food. Reservations are available by calling (702) 607-2665.

Much more than wings and nachos are on the menu at Blondies Sports Bar, inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.  Sure, there are burgers and fries, but waitresses in cheerleading costumes will also be serving salmon and steak. Reservations can be made online for tables during March Madness. They’re priced at $50 a seat per session.

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