Major sporting events to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors
LAS VEGAS - From fast cars and college hoops, to Major League Baseball, Las Vegas is the place to be this month for major sporting events. The destination will host hundreds of thousands of visitors who will experience the annual NASCAR weekend, four NCAA Basketball Conference Championships, the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets, and other high profile sports action.
The month starts off strong with the return of the single largest sporting event in the state-the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. During the second weekend of March, more than 150,000 fans will gather at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, generating $146 million in non-gaming economic impact for Southern Nevada. The races include the Nationwide Series Boyd Gaming 300 on Saturday and the Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 on Sunday.
Racing month continues with the iconic Mint 400 March 12-16, a grueling desert race that features some of the best off-road competitors in the world. The Monster Jam World Finals features the top 32 monster truck drivers as they jump, roll and trample the competition at Sam Boyd Stadium March 20-22. And to close the month, the fastest sport on wheels hits The Strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the annual National Hot Rod Associations (NHRA) SummitRacing.com Nationals March 28-30.
Major League Baseball takes over Cashman Field March 15-16 for what has become a springtime tradition for visitors and residents alike. The Chicago Cubs will make their 10th straight appearance for Big League Weekend facing the New York Mets, the Las Vegas 51's Major League affiliate.
In addition, Las Vegas is the only destination to host four NCAA basketball conference championships including the West Coast Conference (WCC), Western Athletic Conference (WAC), Mountain West Conference (MWC) and Pacific Athletic Conference (PAC12). The tournaments will generate more than $20 million in non-gaming economic impact. Selection Sunday for the NCAA Championship Tournament follows the conference championships, setting into play the madness of March that fills rooms and sports books across Las Vegas from March 16 through the final game.
"March is already one of our best months for visitation and these high profile sporting events bring tremendous media exposure and business to Las Vegas," said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing for the LVCVA. "Our ability to host these major events year after year speaks to the continued strength of Las Vegas."
The LVCVA has a goal of setting a record in 2014 by breaking the 40 million visitor mark. Special events like these help increase the visitor base and grow the tourism industry. Tourism remains our leading economic driver sustaining nearly half of all jobs in Southern Nevada and generating $45 billion in local economic impact a year.