LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – It’s been quite a sporting year in the Las Vegas Valley!
Some of the biggest sporting events and moments have happened right here in Vegas, and it looks like 2023 will bring even more excitement.
2022 kicked off with the NHL All-Star Game in February, held at the T-Mobile Arena. The National Hockey League made Las Vegas the hockey capital of the world from February 3rd to 6th. And although the Pacific Division team was formerly fielded by the Metropolitan Division, some incredible plays by participating Golden Knights players made Las Vegas the best team on screen.
PHOTO GALLERY: 2022 NHL ALL-STAR GAME AT T-MOBILE ARENA
The NFL Pro Bowl was next to highlight esports in the Las Vegas Valley. On February 6th, 88 of the best players in professional American football converged on Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas’ premier athletic venue, for Pro Bowl 2022.
Las Vegas is also scheduled to host the event again in 2023, which has been renamed Pro Bowl Games 2023.
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While the Raiders had some low points this season, the 2021-22 season saw the team make their first playoff appearance since 2016, finishing 2nd in the AFC West Division.
While the Raiders aren’t mathematically eliminated from this season’s playoffs, they’re unlikely to make an appearance again.
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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 on the LINQ Promenade on April 28-30.
Locals could see NFL memorabilia at the Draft Theater at LINQ, which also served as the main stage for the weekend’s historical 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’ victory with a huge parade that marched through the Strip, beginning at Caesar’s Palace and ending at the Bellagio, where the team was presented with the trophy.
In 2023, the team will try to do it all again — a move no team has managed since the Los Angeles Sparks did in 2001 and 2002.
VEGAS’ FIRST CHAMPIONS: Las Vegas Aces win first WNBA title, Chelsea Gray named MVP
Another team trying to achieve their dreams this year are the Vegas Golden Knights, who currently stand 24-12-2 with 50 points; heads the Pacific Division.
After missing out on the playoffs last year, the team has dubbed this season the “Golden Age” in which the Knights hope to make it to the end. Earlier in the season, the team had the league’s longest winning streak, having won nine straight games, but the streak was sadly shattered by the St. Louis Blues.
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The UNLV men’s basketball team (11-2) started the season 10-0, their best start since 1990.
Additionally, the newly formed Las Vegas Desert Dogs brought lacrosse to the Las Vegas Valley as an expansion team of the National Lacrosse League.
But if you think this year has been good, take a look at what 2023 has in store for Vegas.
First up in February is the Pro Bowl Games at Allegiant Stadium, where the best NFL players compete in various skill challenges and a flag football game.
Formula 1 returns to Las Vegas in November at the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. Ticket packages for it also make history as some of the most expensive ticket packages in Formula 1 history.
NFL’s Matt Shapiro 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 participants, you saw it with this excitement on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And last year’s Pro Bowl…we know it’s going to happen again this year with the Pro Bowl games, so we absolutely feel that excitement in Las Vegas,” Shapiro said.
Shapiro adds, “As soon as the game is over, Las Vegas is on the clock. And we’re working together because the next Super Bowl is just around the corner.”
While it may not even be 2023 yet, preparations have already begun for Las Vegas’ big moment in 2024, when the entire sports world will be watching us – Super Bowl LVIII.
Ring in 2023 with KTNV by following our live blog!