It’s been nearly a month since Las Vegas casinos were allowed to drop mask requirements. Sin City is slowly returning to normal, and that will jump into high gear in March with the return of pool season.
The first weekend of March Madness is one of the busiest sports weekends of the year in Las Vegas. As usual, the NCAA basketball tournament coincides with some of the largest colleges in the country taking a spring break.
This year the first weekend of March Madness coincides with St. Patrick’s Day as well. The weekend of March 17-20 is going to be a giant party all day and night everywhere in Las Vegas, from the sportsbooks to the pools and clubs.
Another sign that Las Vegas is returning to normal is the return of the band 311 returning to play on 3/11 at Dolby Live inside Park MGM. The band last played these shows a few days before casinos closed in 2020. The annual March show returning to Las Vegas is just another sign of normalcy.
Plenty more Las Vegas shows at Dolby Live inside Park MGM
March might be the best time of the year to catch Bruno Mars. He’s performing 10 shows at Dolby Live inside Park MGM this month. Lady Gaga will play most of the dates at Dolby Live in April for anyone looking into the near future.
Dolby Live seems to be turning into a hotspot for Las Vegas residencies. Usher is moving his Las Vegas residency from Caesars Palace to Park MGM. The eight-time Grammy Award winner will perform 23 shows from July through October at Dolby Live.
Rumors are that Aerosmith will be returning to Park MGM to resume their Las Vegas residency that ended in 2019.
There’s another rumor that Pearl Jam is in discussion with MGM Resorts about performing some shows at Dolby Live. Don’t expect a residency with multiple shows throughout the year. It could be similar to a few small shows Garth Brooks just played at Park MGM.
During one of his recent shows at Dolby Live, Garth Brooks once again said that he’s considering a Las Vegas residency. He mentioned this at a show last year as well. Brooks had a three-year residency at Wynn starting in 2009.
Speaking of Las Vegas residencies, Katy Perry is playing eight shows at Resorts World this month. Carrie Underwood has four nights at Resorts World as well this month. Her shows continue into April.
New Las Vegas entertainment announcements
Cirque Du Soliel announced that it has a new show coming this May at New York-New York. This experience will be somewhat different than other Cirque shows. Mad Apple will feature comedian Brad Williams, freestyle rapper Chris Turner and vocalist Xharlie Black.
Picture a show that takes mainstream New York City culture and crosses it up with the talent typically associated with Cirque Du Soliel shows.
Just as February was ending, BTS announced it was playing four shows at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas next month. BTS’ “Permission to Dance on Stage” will take place at the massive football stadium on April 8, 9, 15, and 16.
If that’s not enough for April, the Backstreet Boys will be playing four shows at Caesars Palace on the same days BTS is in town. The Backstreet Boys are kicking off their DNA World Tour in Las Vegas on April 8, 9, 15, and 16.
Last month we shared the news that the Grammy Awards would take place on April 3 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. This month we can share that the Billboard Music Awards will take place at the same venue on May 15.
Wrestling fans will be able to see three AEW events in May. The shows on May 25 and 27 will take place at Mandalay Bay. The wrestling will move to T-Mobile Arena on May 29.
Not to be outdone, the WWE announced its “Money In The Bank” event would take place at Allegiant Stadium on July 2.
MGM Resorts announced it was selling operations of The Mirage to Hard Rock International in December. The deal won’t close until later this year, but there are already rumblings that The Beatles Love show by Cirque Du Soliel won’t continue to run when the new company takes over.
Last and least, Adele says her Las Vegas residency will “absolutely 100% happen later this year.”
Las Vegas sports rumors
Bill Simmons of The Ringer is saying that Las Vegas will get an NBA expansion team. This isn’t the news, as this rumor has been floated since last year.
What is new from the BS Podcast is that Lebron James could be associated with the Las Vegas NBA team. Whoever is involved with the team, there could be an announcement by the time the NBA Summer League tips off in Las Vegas this July.
Another pro sports rumor that has been around for a few years is that Las Vegas could become home to an MLS team. There continue to be new developments. It seems like a formality that Las Vegas will soon become home to a professional soccer team.
Casino developments in Las Vegas
The new operators, Apollo Global Management, have discussed improving the already great food and beverage options as well as improving perks for Grazie Rewards. During a hearing with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, a representative also discussed potentially adding more hotel rooms. The Venetian and The Palazzo currently have more than 7,000 rooms already.
Now that Apollo has complete access to The Venetian, there should be more information.
During its most recent earnings call, MGM Resorts said it expects to take over operations at The Cosmopolitan during the second quarter (April, May, June). Don’t expect too many major changes right away since it takes a while for casinos to merge information.
There’s another possibly big earnings call note – this time from Caesars. The company plans on selling one of its Vegas Strip properties sooner, rather than later. While Planet Hollywood has been in the rumor mill for a while, it was mentioned that Caesars would sell a “center strip” property. If that’s the case, the rumor that Caesars could sell Flamingo might make more sense. This is more “center strip” than Planet Hollywood.
Whichever property is sold, Caesars expects that it will be able to raise hotel room prices. This makes sense as Caesars Rewards customers will have the same demand with fewer rooms available.
While Caesars is ready to dump one of its strip hotels, the company might be looking to expand its most popular casinos. For what seems like the 10th year in a row, there’s a rumor that Caesars Palace could add a new hotel tower.
This could be the year the expansion happens as Caesars will have money from a casino sale. A new hotel tower at Caesars would bring higher rates than most of its other Las Vegas property.
Boyd Gaming is adding more space to the Fremont Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas. The modest $50 million updates will include new food and beverage outlets and expanding the casino floor. Look for a food court/food hall to replace the buffet.