When it comes to watching football in a Vegas sports book, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. That’s not a cliché. It’s the simple truth.
Okay, so you say a seat in a sports book can’t begin to compare to a seat on the 50-yard line. You’re right, of course. But keep this in mind. You’ll never get drenched or feel like you may lose an appendage to frostbite in a sports book.
Plus, while sitting in climate-controlled comfort, you’ll see more of the game on innumerable giant-sized screens than you would ever set eyes upon in the stadium. You’ll also have easy access to indescribably delicious food and cheap beer (often delivered by really good-looking cocktail waitresses).
Sometimes sports books even host viewing parties, which means you might get to rub elbows with a legend of the game or, better yet, some curvy cheerleaders.
And there’s one last thing to remember: that seat in the sports book won’t cost you anything – unless you decide to put some money where your heart is.
So now that the college and pro football seasons have officially kicked off, which sports books in Vegas should you make it your goal to nab a seat in? Here are seven worthy of being awarded a Vince Lombardi Trophy.
William Hill Sports Book at SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Number of TVs: 50
Why it’s so cool: Located in the recently opened SLS Las Vegas, this sports book has a totally laid back vibe because it’s been, as they say, “deliciously coupled” with a trendy hamburger joint and a beer garden. Known formally as Umami Burger, Beer Garden & Sports Book, you can place a bet and then grab a uniquely Asian-flavored burger that has garnered a cult following as well as the 2010 award for “Burger of the Year” from GQ magazine. A profusion of tasty handcrafted beers are available as well. And the best thing of all? If you want a bit of fresh air, simply head outdoors to watch the game in a beer garden that overlooks the Las Vegas Strip.
Hours: Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday from 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Number of TVs: More than 100
Why it’s so cool: Stadium seating, a super huge main screen, pool tables, a club vibe and the New Orleans-style cooking of Emeril Lagasse. Nope, you haven’t died and gone to sports heaven. You’ve just hit upon a new breed of sports book meets sports bar meets upscale restaurant. Cheer your team to victory here while watching a 9-foot-by-16-foot TV and chowing down on good game-day grub – like Louisiana Abita beer-steamed black mussels, Creole burgers, shrimp po-boys and pork nachos. If you’re in town on Sept. 13, come by at 6 p.m. to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Lagasse’s Stadium and see former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Hours: Monday from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Tuesday – Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. – midnight and Saturday – Sunday from 7 a.m. – midnight
Number of TVs: 152
Why it’s so cool: Sophisticated and high-class, like the hotel it’s located in, this sports book is perfect for both serious and social football observers. If you want to focus all of your attention on a particular game, take possession of a betting carrel. There are 100 of them and each one has its own monitor. Otherwise, head for the “backfield” – i.e., an elegant lounge-style bar at the rear of the sports book. You can chat up other fans (or fanatics) and never miss a moment of the action, thanks to three enormous 20-foot-by-20-foot projection screens. And if hunger pangs strike, blitz the nearby Zoozacrackers Deli or Allegro, where you can tackle a classic Italian-American dish.
Hours: Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday – Sunday from 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Number of TVs: 96
Why it’s so cool: One word: Skybox. No, that’s got nothing to do with “Skyfall,” the 23rd movie in the James Bond series. However, if 007 were ever to catch a football game in Vegas, it would probably be from one of these four exclusive rooms elevated above the sports book floor. Ranging in size from 300 to 325 square feet, each Skybox can accommodate 10 guests, is equipped with its own 42-inch plasma TV and comes with free food and your own personal beverage server. Even if you can’t afford to splash out on a Skybox, you’ll find plenty of big faux leather-covered chairs angled toward the sports book’s 36 65-inch screens. If that view doesn’t grab hold of your eyes, the sandwiches served in the adjacent New York-style Stage Deli will – because the fillings are stacked as high as the Empire State Building.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Number of TVs: 60
Why it’s so cool: Sometimes the biggest really is the best. Just look at the SuperBook’s numbers: 30,000 square feet (making it the largest sports book in the world), more than 350 seats, 28 giant monitors and a 15-foot-by-20-foot main screen. The SuperBook also boasts the largest wagering menu in the state of Nevada. If these things don’t impress you, the Ultimate Fan Cave will. This special smoke-free room has rows of comfy armchairs and several 120-inch HD screens where 16 games can be shown at once. If your stomach needs a fill-up between quarters, you’ll find traditional game-style eats (burgers and sandwiches) in the SuperBook Deli. And on Sundays be sure to drop by for “Football Central.” These free viewing parties are held in the nearby Westgate Theater. In addition to a massive 65-foot-wide screen, on which all the day’s NFL games are shown, the SuperBook sets up remote betting stations. Plus, unbeatable food and drink specials (like $3 Miller draft beers) are always in play. Doors open at 9 a.m.
Hours: Daily from 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Number of TVs: 90
Why it’s so cool: It’s only natural that you would miss the comfort of your own sofa while watching football games in Vegas. Aria’s sports book truly understands that longing – and so they’ve created an area with living room-style furnishings. That’s right…you can sit on a couch and even kick your feet up on a coffee table while surveying the action on 90 screens that range in size from 32 to 103 inches. Although your wife won’t be coming in from the kitchen with a hot plate of nachos, you are just steps away from Five50 Pizza Bar, where the pizza is made as God intended (well, if God had a 550-degree wood oven and could blend the best of New York and Naples baking traditions).
Hours: Monday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m., Tuesday – Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 1 a.m. and Saturday – Sunday, 7:30 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Number of TVs: 95
Why it’s so cool: If ever there was a sports book that could be described as chic and electric, it would have to be this one. The décor – with its hand-stitched leather walls and marble flooring – is worthy of a spread in Architectural Digest. The latest odds are presented on a striking, multicolored display boards…which sit alongside a colossal 1,290-square-foot LED video screen capable of showing 33 different sporting events simultaneously. If you can tear yourself away for a drink, the hip Tonic Bar is in close proximity and pours everything from a cold beer to a creatively crafted cocktail.