LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It’s been quite the year for sports in the Las Vegas valley!
Some of the biggest sporting events and moments have taken place right here in Vegas, and it looks like 2023 is set to bring even more excitement.
2022 kicked off the year with the NHL All-Star game in February, which was hosted at T-Mobile Arena. The National Hockey League made Las Vegas the hockey capital of the world from Feb. 3 through Feb. 6. And though the Pacific Division team was dispatched earlier on by the Metropolitan Division, some incredible plays from participating Golden Knights players put Las Vegas’ finest on display.
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The NFL Pro Bowl was next up to highlight sports in the Las Vegas valley. On Feb. 6, 88 of the top players in professional American football came together at Las Vegas’ premier sports venue, Allegiant Stadium for the 2022 Pro Bowl.
Las Vegas is set to also host the event again in 2023, which has been renamed to the 2023 Pro Bowl Games.
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While the Raiders had some lows this season, the team made their first playoff appearance since 2016 in the 2021-22 season, coming 2nd in the AFC West Division.
While the Raiders have not been mathematically eliminated from this season’s playoffs, it is unlikely that they will make another appearance.
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The 2022 NFL Draft was also held on the Las Vegas Strip for the first time, and the NFL rolled out the red carpet behind the High Roller at the LINQ Promenade from April 28 through April 30.
Locals were able to view NFL memorabilia at the Draft Theater at the LINQ, which also served as the main stage for the weekend’s historic events.
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The Las Vegas Aces became the first professional sports team in the valley to win a championship this summer. The Aces were led by Finals MVP Chelsea Gray to their first WNBA title in a 78-71 win over the Connecticut Suns in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals.
The valley celebrated the Aces’ win with a massive parade that traveled through the Strip, starting at Caesar’s Palace and ending at the Bellagio, where the team was presented the trophy.
In 2023, the team will be attempting to do it all again — a move that no team has accomplished since the Los Angeles Sparks did it in 2001 and 2002.
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Another team attempting to achieve their dreams this year are the Vegas Golden Knights, which are currently 24-12-2 with 50 points; leading the Pacific division.
After missing the playoffs last year, the team has dubbed this season as the “Golden Age,” where the Knights hope to take it all the way. Earlier in the season, the team held the longest win streak in the league after winning nine straight games, but the streak was unfortunately shattered by the St. Louis Blues.
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The UNLV Men’s basketball team (11-2) started their season off 10-0, which is the best start they’ve had since 1990.
Additionally, the newly-founded Las Vegas Desert Dogs has also brought Lacrosse to the Las Vegas valley as an expansion team in the National Lacrosse League.
But If you think this year was good, take a look at what 2023 has in store for Vegas.
First up in February, the Pro Bowl Games will take place at Allegiant Stadium, where top NFL players will compete in various skills challenges and a flag football game.
Formula 1 is set to make its return to Las Vegas in November at the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. Ticket packages for this are also making history as some of the most expensive ticket bundles in Formula 1 history.
Matt Shapiro with the NFL says Las Vegas has already exceeded their expectations as a host.
“We feel that excitement… I think you saw it with the draft. You saw it with the number of attendees, you saw it with that excitement on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And last year’s Pro Bowl….we know it’ll happen again this year with the Pro Bowl Games, so we are absolutely feeling that excitement in Las Vegas,” Shapiro said.
Shapiro adds, “Right when that game is over, Las Vegas is on the clock. And we’re working collectively because the next Super Bowl is right in front of us.”
Even though it’s not even 2023 yet, preparations have already started for Las Vegas’ big moment in 2024, when the entire sports world will have its eyes on us — Super Bowl LVIII.
Ring in 2023 with KTNV by following our live blog!