So you couldn’t wait an extra month to make your, hopefully, infamous trip to Vegas and it’s putting a major strain in your plans to follow the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament. You’ve downloaded apps on your phone so you can keep up with the action and you’ve set your DVR to record every moment. But, what if you could sneak away from your long days and nights of living up everything Vegas has to offer to – gasp – watch soccer (or football, whatever you call it)?
That’s right, mixed in with all the clubs, bars, pools and sexy people in Sin City you can keep track of every game of the most watched sporting event in the world. One of the little-talked-about attractions Vegas has to offer is the plethora of televisions available at pretty much every place any tourist would want to go. That means that you benefit from the added excitement of fans not wanting to miss the U.S. potentially making its best World Cup run in 60 years or Spain becoming just the eighth country to take home a title.
The enthusiasm of the World Cup isn’t missed on the various bars, sports books and nightclubs in town with just about everyone running some kind of drink specials or World Cup-themed event. And the best part is that because the games are being played in South Africa, where this a nine-hour time difference, you won’t have to miss out on going to the clubs where you plan on showcasing your Cabbage Patch dance move.
Here is a glance at some of the places you should definitely hit up to get your soccer fix:
Caesars Palace: When the USA takes on England on Saturday where it will look for its first win over the Brits since 1950, it is expected to be one of the biggest matches of the World Cup. Caesars Palace headliner and England native Matt Goss will host the event in the Gossy room at Cleopatra’s Barge where the doors will open at 9 a.m. for the 11:30 a.m. match, giving guests plenty of time to fill up at the buffet station or on $5, 16-ounce Guinness.
Crown and Anchor: If you’re looking to be in a pro-England environment the Crown and Anchor is definitely the place to go. This English-style pub is used to huge viewing parties whenever the biggest football matches are on and this will be no exception. A giant temporary tent will be setup outside to handle what is expected to a beyond-capacity crowd.
Agave: This Mexican restaurant located near Red Rock Casino is taking the World Cup seriously. So seriously that it is opening at 7 a.m. every day of the tournament with a full breakfast menu and drink specials.
Lagasse’s Stadium: Emeril Lagasse knows a thing or two about sports (he’s a huge fan of his hometown Saints) and also happens to know a bit about food. Combine the two and you get a World Cup menu for whichever team you’re rooting for. A fan of Italy? Try the sausage arancini and drink Peroni. England supporters can enjoy fish and chips will knocking back a few Newcastles.
Dos Caminos Mexican Kitchen: If you’re in the Palazzo and looking for more of a Mexican flavor during the tournament you can enjoy happy hour specials during every game (at least while the restaurant is open). Specials include $8 guacamole that is made fresh to order and $4 Dos Equis Lager and Ale.
SushiSamba: What would a World Cup be without Brazil? The team owns a record five titles and is considered a 4-1 favorite at the sports books (yes, of course you can bet on World Cup matches in Vegas. Scroll down for more on that). Fans looking for some succulent food should try this Brazilian-Japanese infused restaurant. It will feature a special World Cup menu with items like churrasco mini sandwiches with piquillo peppers and cabrales cheese or South American-style frittatas. Games will be broadcast beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Hennessey’s: If you find yourself downtown, stumble into Hennessey’s where this Irish-style pub will be showing matches daily. The menu gives guests everything you could look for in a pub from nachos to corned beef and cabbage and of course plenty of stouts to choose from.
Planet Hollywood: The Playing Field Lounge allows fans to mingle with former World Cup soccer player Joe-Max Moore, who played on three U.S. World Cup soccer teams. The lounge features plenty of soccer-themed drink specials (all of them made with tequila) with names like “The Goal,” “The Red Card,” and “The Blue Jersey.” Additionally, guests will receive a free entry into the grand prize drawing that will name six total winners (three from Caesars Palace and three from Planet Hollywood) on June 24. Each winner may bring three guests to the celebration where they will receive a private party that includes Guiness, Jose Cuervo and food along with a two-night hotel stay and a $100 casino credit.
El Segundo Sol: How about a happy hour that remains in effect for every World Cup game? Loco Hour specials will run from the first game of the tournament until the final game on July 11. This staple in the Fashion Show Mall will hook guests up with specials like $4.95 frozen margaritas and $2, 24-ounce cans of World Cup-themed Tecate. Food specials include bottomless chips and three salsas for $2.95 or burritos for $4.93.
Todd English P.U.B. : All fans dressed in a USA or England team jersey on Saturday will receive a free pint of beer and a free shot every time their team scores a goal. This special only applies to the USA-England match at 11:30 a.m., so here’s to hoping for a 10-9 final score.
B.B. King’s Blues Club: This club is for than just the blues. Watch the games on eight high-definition screens and enjoy a full breakfast menu for those 7 a.m. games or a lunch menu for 11:30 a.m. games. Also, pitchers of domestic brews are just $12.
The World Cup celebration doesn’t end when the games do. Several nightclubs are keeping the party going with World Cup-themed events like Lavo, which is hosting a World Class Soccer Kick-Off party on June 15. Fans wearing their country’s jersey will have access to an open bar from 11 p.m.-midnight and hear a special DJ set by Norwegian soccer player Jan Gunnar Solli.
Blush will hold a special industry night on June 15 where it will honor loyal supporters with personalized soccer jerseys.
The Las Vegas Hilton has been your home for 2010 World Cup betting since 2006 when the sports book first posted odds for this year’s tournament. Wagers can be placed on every match (all 48 of them) along with several other prop betting options. The Hilton will open the Shimmer Cabaret and theatre for viewing of select games including the U.S.-England match.
Aside from the Hilton, bets can be placed at most sports books in town and even if you don’t see any games being shown on the many TVs there, you can always ask if they can change one to whatever game you want.
With so many bars, clubs and sports books in town there should be no reason to miss that big moment in this year’s World Cup tournament. Well, you are in Vegas so maybe there are a few reasons.