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Las Vegas ranks on list of best sports business cities

By Ramsey Pfeffinger,


Las Vegas is a top-choice sports town, according to a new report by the Sports Business Journal. The city is standing out from the nearly 500,000 data points analyzed across 377 cities in the United States.

“From a meetings and events perspective, Las Vegas continues to be an extreme value. … In hindsight, it’s crazy that people thought Las Vegas couldn’t be a major sports town," said sports writer David Broughton stated in the study's findings.

Las Vegas ranks at no. 7 on the list of top 50 best sports cities in the U.S. The rank is higher than traditionally big-name sports cities like Chicago (#9), Boston (#15), or Louisville, Kentucky (#37).

VEGAS SPORTS: Las Vegas visitors spending more money, sports tourism booming

Some standout facts the study results pointed to were as follows:


  • Las Vegas has more hotel rooms (162,000) than any city in the survey, with an average nightly rate of $137 that is far lower than other Western markets in the top 50 (whose rates range from $160 to $292).


  • $3 billion has been spent building new and/or renovating venues since 2017, collectively adding 104,000 seats to the city’s entertainment venue inventory and an additional 1.5 million in annual ticket sales.
  • An NBA-ready arena is under construction by Oak View Group (should the league place a team there), and stadium negotiations are ongoing to lure big teams to the Silver State.

BIG SPENDING: Allegiant Stadium named third-most expensive sports stadium in North America.

In addition, the study included factors such as: cost of living, quality of life, number of tenured franchises, modern venues, and a climate of support from area residents, businesses and local governments.

However, according to the research team, counterpoints were made by some industry partners such as a New York City-based rights holder cited in the report who said he seeks out a market that makes his event feels like it’s the biggest thing in town. ““It’s so much easier to make a bigger splash in smaller markets...a market like Las Vegas, sporting events can get lost in the shuffle,” the rights holder said.

Cities like Charlotte and Atlanta made the top five as the writers pointed to a transition of sports business from larger cities to the southeast region of the U.S.

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