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In Vegas, we hardly need any excuse to party, but we love it even more when there’s a big sporting event that brings everyone together – like March Madness. Who knew that 73 years ago, in 1939, that this tournament, organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the brainchild of Kansas coach Phog Allen would take a whole nation by storm? Since then, the phenomenon has been growing. In fact, according to the NCAA, more than 10 percent of Americans participate in March Madness “office pools,” and here’s another bit of trivia for you – based on a study done by the firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas – American businesses lost an estimated $1.2 billion in worker productivity during the 2009 NCAA season. Here’s some more – the odds of picking a perfect bracket? 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1. That’s nine quintillion to one! And the most important one that no one ever talks about – the FBI estimates that more than $2.5 billion is illegally wagered annually on March Madness each year. Less than 4% of that amount is wagered legally in Nevada.
GET PUMPED AT PBR ROCK BAR
From now through April 2, fans and revelers can watch the games daily at the bar’s wall-to-wall 105 HDTVs. Specials include $19 beer buckets throughout the tournament. Don’t forget to chow down on hearty American comfort food and of course, some barbecue, as you root for your team.
PBR Rock Bar, outside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort
BABES & BASKETBALL
If this is more your speed, then head down to CRAZY HORSE III as it offers what it calls a “slam dunk special” throughout the entire NCAA tournament – guests can enjoy buckets of four Budweiser and Bud Light bottles priced at $20. Then of course, there’s the day time specials – like a 6-inch sandwich, chips and refreshing well cocktail for $5. Happy Hour takes place daily, from 1 – 8 p.m.
Crazy Horse III, just a few blocks west of I-15, on Russell Road
GET ROCKIN’ DEALS
With 28 high-def TVs, there won’t be a bad seat in the house at ROCKHOUSE BAR & NIGHTCLUB. Aside from viewing all March Madness games, the ultra dive-bar offers daily specials such as two-for-one beers on Fridays and Saturdays. Plus, during the games, beer pong will be available daily.
Rockhouse bar & nightclub, in front of Imperial Palace
SCORE A WIN
You can still “win” even if you have a losing team – at least at LBS BURGER JOINT. Patrons presenting a “dead” sports book ticket during March Madness (now though April 2) get one free draft beer. Pair this with the restaurant’s resurrected “Bracket Burger” – a beef patty topped with American cheese, a fried egg, firecracker onions, lettuce, tomato, avocado, spicy mustard and BBQ sauce, plus a side of shoestring fries – all for $14.50 – and you just might not feel like such a loser.
LBS Burger Joint, Red Rock Resort
GET HAPPY AT LAGASSE’S STADIUM
One of the town’s best sports bars, Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo, kicks off a new Happy Hour menu featuring dining and drinks special as only Chef Emeril Lagasse can bring you. You can’t beat the combination of great food, plus the convenience of a sports book – with its more than 100 HDTVs, including a 9 x 16 foot main TV; plush, stadium-style seating, luxury boxes, sports betting stations and more. Signature dishes include Emeril’sSteak BAM’Wich and New Orleans style crab cakes.
The new Happy Hour runs Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., with specials ranging from $4 – $7. In addition, drinks will be flowing with $5 single shot well cocktails and $4 draft beers.
Lagasse’s Stadium, inside The Palazzo Las Vegas