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Travelers Visit in March for Basketball, Racing, Conventions & More


LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas is THE only place to be during the month of March. From race cars, Major League Baseball and college hoops to large conventions and rugby tournaments, Vegas plays host to some of the most recognizable sporting events in the world – and that’s without mentioning the great weather!

Last year, more than 3.6 million people visited in March and this year, the month is expected to be just as popular.

“March is always a highlight of our calendar year for visitation – there’s really something for everyone in Las Vegas this month,” said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA.) “Whether guests are here for sports, the sun, spring break or celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, Las Vegas provides an energetic atmosphere, filled with memorable one-of-a-kind experiences.”

The highly anticipated NASCAR weekend starts the month off strong when more than 150,000 fans gather at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 4-6. NASCAR is the largest sporting event in the state and is expected to generate nearly $90 million in direct visitor spending. The races include the Boyd Gaming 300 Xfinity Series on Saturday and the Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 on Sunday.

The racing continues with the Mint 400 taking place March 9-13. The Mint 400 is a grueling desert race that features some of the best off-road competitors from around the world. Also, the Monster Jam World Finals XVII returns to Las Vegas as the top monster truck drivers jump, roll and trample the competition at Sam Boyd Stadium March 17-19.

Major League Baseball takes over Cashman Field March 31- April 1 for what has become a springtime tradition for visitors and residents alike. The Chicago Cubs will make their 12th consecutive appearance for Big League Weekend facing the New York Mets. Since the teams will play their final Spring Training games in Las Vegas, fans will also get to watch athletes who are expected to be on the season-opening rosters.

From baseballs to basketballs, Las Vegas is the only destination to host four NCAA basketball conference tournaments including the West Coast Conference (WCC), Western Athletic Conference (WAC), Mountain West Conference (MWC) and Pacific Athletic Conference (PAC 12). The tournaments are expected to draw more than 21,000 out-of-town visitors and generate $21.4 million in direct visitor spending.

Meetings, conventions and trade shows are expected to bring more than 255,000 attendees during the month of March with $216.6 million in direct visitor spending. Las Vegas will host major conventions throughout the month including ASD Las Vegas, Nightclub and Bar Show, and International Pizza Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society (HIMSS16) at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, Wedding & Portrait Photographers Conference Expo at MGM Grand and Globalshop at Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

And finally, Las Vegas will attract fans from across the country to watch the NCAA College Basketball Tournament. With resort viewing parties, sports book excitement and food specials, the first weekend of the tournament is consistently one of the busiest weekends in Las Vegas each year.

Las Vegas welcomed a record 42.3 million visitors in 2015. Special events and conventions help increase the visitor base and grow the tourism industry. Tourism remains Southern Nevada’s leading economic driver sustaining more than 360,000 jobs and generating $50 billion in local economic impact a year.

Other events around town include:

Experience the excitement of the college basketball tournament at CRUSH at MGM Grand with special game time food menu and beer specials. Corporate Executive Chef William DeMarco has prepared a menu full of selections ideal for that annual guy’s trip to Vegas, including short-rib sliders made with bread and butter pickles and Carolina slaw and sausage hoagies made with sweet peppers and balsamic onions. Plus, CRUSH offers an array of flavorful craft beers, including Dog Fish Head 90 Minute, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA and Kronenbourg Blanc, among other choices.

For those looking for basketball, brews and bets, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will host Hoops & Hops, a three-day March College Basketball luxury viewing experience at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on March 17-19, 2016. In between games, guests can place their bets at the newly-opened Sports Book inside the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. In addition, Marquee Nightclub will offer all Hoops & Hops ticket holders complimentary admission to Dash Berlin on Friday, March 18 and Porter Robinson on Saturday, March 20.

Beer Park at Paris Las Vegas is celebrating March with an expanded food menu, offering game time favorites like hot dogs and brisket prepared on its custom Budweiser Beechwood Grill that infuses the aromatic flavors of beer into its food. Guests can take in more than 100 beer choices, various games like giant Jenga and Connect Four, and dozens of HD TVs.

For that true, only in Vegas experience, guests can celebrate March basketball with a game of excavator bucket basketball at Dig This. Guests can ‘take it to the rim’ (which is actually a 2000 pound tire) while operating a 20-ton excavator or a new mini excavator.

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