Your guide to watching NFL football in Las Vegas

Updated: August 27, 2015

The football season in Las Vegas feels as though it will be the biggest and busiest in the history of this city. I’m not speaking only about people wagering on the games. There will be plenty of bettors as the mainstream media continues to promote sports betting. I’m speaking about the people who are the reason some sports books and sports bars are making you pay to sit and watch the games.
Fantasy football has been becoming more popular for years and will only continue to grow as the masses learn about Daily Fantasy football games. Believe it or not, fantasy football players aren’t necessarily sports bettors. More specifically, they’re not traditional sports bettors who walk up to the sports book window to place a wager. When they’re in Vegas, they generally want to watch the games and keep an eye on their season long or daily fantasy football team more than they want to place a few bucks on a game.
Fantasy Football Fans
Fantasy Football fans visiting Vegas to watch the games isn’t new but they are a rapidly growing segment during the fall and winter months. A couple years ago some friends and I were at a sports bar on the Vegas Strip watching the games. I’d guess that almost half the people at the bar didn’t care about the outcome of the game or the point spread. All they cared about was which players were scoring. Obnoxious.
Time has healed those wounds and now I realize that those people will be a part of watching football in Vegas forever moving forward. The growth of daily fantasy football as a gambling activity has a lot of sports bettors now rooting for both players and teams. It’s almost confusing to watch other people but that’s part of the fun I guess.
Sitting and Watching Football In Vegas
The business model for operating a sports book in Vegas has changed over the years. It’s no longer just an amenity to keep people from leaving the casino. The sports book is now a full fledged revenue earner for its operator.

Independent sports book operators may only make money when you wager with them. Some of these operators have begun to require a wager in order for you to sit in their sports book to watch football. This not only serves their customer but keeps out customers that does not help their bottom line.

Sports bettors inside the Red Rock sportsbook.

There have been some sports books who have renovated so that they can still offer complimentary seating but reserve the right to close off any seats for VIP’s or bottle service if needed. These sports books are usually fine but seating can be limited on the busier days. Don’t worry, though, as there are still plenty of sports books where you can sit and watch football without placing a wager but some of the hotels, casinos, bars and restaurants are taking creative approaches to filling our desire to watch football.
New Places To Watch Football
Some bars and restaurants will be wheeling TV’s into their non-sports environment to show the games while you eat and drink while other bars and restaurants may create special events that offer food and drink specials to increase their revenue. Nothing will beat watching the games for free in the sportsbook but some of these are fine options to watch the games. Not everybody wants to watch the games where they wager.
Last week I toured the almost completed renovation of the meeting space(s) at The D on Fremont Street in Downtown Vegas. The D is taking a creative look at their meeting spaces and opening them up for special events like football games. The overall meeting space occupies 11,000 square feet on the 12th floor of the hotel but the division of spaces offer a unique way to watch the games.
The D has outfitted some of the smaller meeting rooms to be used as “Man Caves” for football season. The Man Caves will have a beer pong table, pop-a-shot, video games, leather couches, big screen (70”) TV’s and wi-fi if you need to check your DFS scores regularly or place in-game wagers on your phone.

Man Cave at The D in downtown Las Vegas.

Food and drink are provided by the restaurants and bars at the casino and covered by a fee that you pay for the room. The prices paid for unit rental go towards your food and drink cost. If you want to wager on games you can head to the William Hill sports book on the second floor or just use an app on your mobile device since you have high speed wi-fi access.
The idea of being able to rent a “Man Cave” to watch the games is great wherever the location. Since these “Man Caves” are located at The D you’ll have a less expensive experience than you would on the Vegas Strip and you would be close to good gambling (3:2 blackjack and 10x odds craps).
The spaces can be rented out for any reason but football is always a great catalyst to gather a group of people together.

There is one downside to watching football in one of these kind of Man Caves that might be a non-starter. There are only so many TV’s that you can fit in a smaller room so you won’t be able to see all the action at the same time like you would a sports book.
While some of these non-traditional venues can be a great way to watch football, there’s really nothing like the sportsbook experience. The sheer number of massive TV screens and reaction from bettors make this unlike any atmosphere you’ll find outside of Vegas.

That said, it’s nice to have some new viewing options becoming available in case sitting in a sports book for three or four hours isn’t in the cards.

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