Sports bars await the crowds – BizWest

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They call it March Madness for a reason other than crazy upheavals, last-second jabs, and busted parentheses.

The NCAA basketball tournament is one of the busiest times of year for sports bars, casinos and other entertainment venues to go to watch a game or 16 (and yes, there are 16 games every first two days).

Colorado is actually a pretty hot place in March, even though it’s the snowiest month of the year, with four teams having a shot at making the Big Dance. This year, Colorado State and the University of Colorado have a legitimate chance to qualify, and the University of Northern Colorado could hopefully get there.

Here are some recommendations for places to cheer on a small team that upsets a giant. If your team is a giant — I’m a University of Kansas alum myself — you can encourage another mosquito to swat at watch parties in Front Range and northern Colorado bars.

Black Falcon

Sports betting is now legal in Colorado, and Black Hawk casinos are gearing up for the action. But plenty of places also use the games as a draw, including Monarch Casino, Black Hawk’s newest and perhaps fanciest addition. Monarch’s renovations opened in November 2020 after nearly a decade of preparation, and although the casino has a comfortable new poker room, slots and table games, the goal was to offer a place that could also attract non-gamers.

“For anyone who loves college basketball deeply, we want to make sure they have access to the best space in Black Hawk to bet and cheer on their team,” said Nick Epstein, head of sports betting for Monarch. “This will be the first NCAA tournament (under the new renovations), and we expect it to be as busy as the NFL playoffs. Guests have long been drawn to other areas of the complex, and we’ve only seen more people explore it since our resort expansion opened.

Monarch offers individual TVs for small groups at the bookie as well as 20 large community TVs to watch matches and a VIP area for small groups to watch a specific match, in addition to “very comfortable chairs”.

Other places to go:

Ameristar at Black Hawk – The Ameristar added the Barstool Sportsbook when sports betting became legal in 2021. Sportsbooks are fun places to watch even if you’re not betting on a game.

The Casino Lodge – SuperBook Sports, the “most decorated” sportsbook in Las Vegas, now operates a bookmaker on the second floor of The Lodge.

Casino of the Century in nearby Central City – The Tipico Sportsbook is a new addition to the Black Hawk area, and Colorado is only the second state to host a Tipico, along with New Jersey.

Front Range Sports Bars

The two busiest days are those frenetic 16-game marathons at the start of the NCAA tournament on Thursday and Friday, said Jeremy Malone, owner of the Sportsbook Bar and Grill in Washington Park.

“We’ll be a full house Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” Malone said. “The other days slow down a bit. But it’s still crazy. »

Sportsbook has three locations, in Greenwood Village (DTC), Washington Park and Highlands Ranch and has over 40 TVs in each location, with an 8-foot high video wall at Highlands Ranch.

Sportsbook hosts watch parties for Iowa Hawkeye fans at Greenwood Village and Washington Park locations, and the Highlands Ranch is an Ohio state bar. This means that during these matches you can expect rowdy and loud fans to cheer specifically for these teams. If that sounds like fun, many bars in Denver provide havens for specific teams throughout the tournament. Check with your alumni association for watch parties and plan to arrive early: the best seats for the tournament are usually taken a few hours in advance.

Other places to go:

CB & Potts – This Fort Collins stalwart with killer nachos offers a south-facing patio for sun and propane heaters, so even if your team gets chilly in March, you can stay warm.

Pumphouse Brewery in Longmont — Specialty beers and specific hours and times designed for watching sports in its red zone, with 33 TVs (just ask them to switch to your game if it’s not on) and audio boxes so you can hear the game at your table.

• The goat sports bar is Greeley’s newest and one of the nicest in the area, with 36 TVs and patio seating for high-energy fans.

Vegas

the Venetian The resort tries to stand out among the dozens of places you can watch a game in Vegas, with a 10,000 foot sportsbook and over 100 seats next to a massive video wall. The tournament, as well as any other major sporting event, is so busy with betting on match days that William Hill, who runs the book, now has its own mobile app (as do many major casino operators such as MGM and Caesars).

However, sports betting is just the beginning, not the centerpiece like it is in many other casinos. The Venetian also offers the Electra Cocktail Club with a giant 40-foot (and 70 million pixel, a spokeswoman pointed out) digital screen that covers an entire wall, and the resort’s Moon Palace offers a “March Mayhem” package. “, which includes a bottle of spirits, a bucket of beers, three Red Bulls and bites. Finally, the resort offers suite experiences with team-themed décor and a dining menu for a private viewing experience, just in case you’re one of those fans who stress your team out a bit more.

Other places to go:

blondie las vegas “It’s not quite what you think. Waiters dress in signature attire, and the bar, in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile stores, features 60 televisions, including at least one with a 12-foot screen, as well as an all-you-can-eat happy hour for $20, which is cheaper than many cocktails.

Montecristo Cigar Bar at Caesars Palace – It offers a slightly more dignified experience, but it’s laid back enough to shake off a stuffy tag.

At Chickie and Pete’s – What many call North America’s number one sports bar has helped add juice to Sahara, a fading light on the bright Las Vegas Strip. First-come, first-served, but offers reservation options for large events and also sells party tickets.

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