Feb 7, 2022 - Sports

Sin City is officially a sports town

Illustration of Vegas welcome sign replaced with a football.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Las Vegas made history this weekend, becoming the first city to ever host two All-Star Games at the same time.

The big picture: For decades, Vegas was as attractive to gamblers as it was unattractive to sports leagues. But as sports betting becomes legal state by state, leagues are embracing the city they once shunned.

  • NFL Pro Bowl: The AFC beat the NFC, 41-35, in a turnover-marred exhibition before a crowd of 56,206 at Allegiant Stadium that more closely resembled a youth football practice than an All-Star Game.
  • NHL All-Star: The Metropolitan Division captured the championship for the third time in six years, beating the Central Division, 5-3, in the final round of the 3-on-3 tournament.

What's next: The NFL will be back in Vegas for this year's draft, plus the 2024 Super Bowl — an event the city used to be banned from advertising during, let alone hosting.

The bottom line: Las Vegas may never escape its Sin City moniker, but a new description is quickly becoming equally apt: sports town.

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