The NFL playoffs got off to a great start with some great games over the weekend. The winners from the AFC and NFC will meet Sunday, February 2 for Super Bowl XLVIII. That’s right around the corner! Unless you’re a high roller who always receives complimentary rooms you’re probably looking at minimal discounts for hotel rooms. That said, you probably have hotel rooms booked if you’re planning on being in Las Vegas for the big game.
Super Bowl weekend is one of the busiest, and most fun, sports weekends in Las Vegas (March Madness & Kentucky Derby/Big fight/Cinco De Mayo are the others). If you’ve never been to Las Vegas for the big game it’s pretty insane. Las Vegas is beyond busy and that’s always fun. Every bar, restaurant, sportbook, show in town is overflowing with huge crowds. There are people from all over the country supporting their favorite team while watching and betting on the big game. Spots in front of a TV to watch the Super Bowl are not easy to come by.
In fact, if you don’t have a reservation at a party, restaurant or bar you’ll be fighting just to watch the game. Super Bowl weekend has become so popular that Vegas Chatter has already begun their list of places to watch the game. This is a little ahead of the past because restaurants are all trying to get ahead of each other with party planning. Here are some of your options to watch the big game.
Private Parties: If you’re a medium to high roller your favorite hotel may have already contacted you about a free and private Super Bowl viewing party. These usually have free drinks and/or food to go along with plenty of TV’s to watch the big game. If you haven’t heard from the casino check with a host to if you’re eligible for one of these parties. If you’re a Total Rewards Diamond member, you should check with your hotel to see their Diamond Lounge policy for the game. Some are closed, some are open, some are first come for seats, drinks, food.
Public Casino Parties: Many casinos will have a viewing party that’s open to the public. Prices on these parties vary. Parties range from just an admission fee for a chair to watch the big game where you can access a cash bar and food to totally open bar with different food options. All Caesars hotels should be offering this in the next week or so. The games are usually shown on projection TV’s with a variety of table set ups depending on the size of the room.
Bar/Restaurant Parties: Many bars and restaurants will be open but only for people with advanced reservations or those willing to pay a cover charge. Reservations may include a minimum spend or they may include open bar and food. Check with your favorite bar or restaurant a week or so in advance. Many of these parties will sell out and some will make you use a credit card to hold your spot.
Sportsbooks: This is still your best option to watch the big game for free. If you want a seat to watch the Super Bowl you’ll have to get there well before the game to grab seats. If you don’t mind standing to watch the game you should be able to catch a peek at any time but all sportsbooks will be overflowing. Your best bet to watch on a whim is probably an open sportsbook like Caesars Palace.
Casino Bars: Not all casino bars have TV’s and the bars that do will be packed. If you get to one of the bars with TV’s early and play video poker you should be able to keep your seat when the big game comes on. If you tip your bartender nicely before the game begins and the crowds show up you may be able to drink for free all night as long as you have money in the video poker machine.
Memorial Day and New Years Eve are some of the busiest times for Las Vegas but for sports fans there really is no more fun time in Las Vegas. Football bonds fans like no other sport and you see that on Super Bowl weekend. The camaraderie among sports fans is incredible and there’s an energy that comes with Super Bowl weekend that can’t be matched by any other sport at any other time in Las Vegas. It will be crazy so make sure you plan accordingly to ensure a great time.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.