The city of satellite trucks. The hordes of reporters. The man in the chicken suit?
Well, we'll have to wait and see about that last one, but there's no doubt that the O.J. Simpson circus has rolled into town for what's expected to be the most high-profile criminal trial in Las Vegas history.
An army of broadcast news crews has camped out in the Regional Justice Center's parking lot and will line the street outside the courthouse when the trial opens this morning.
And if last fall's preliminary hearing is any hint, the courthouse sidewalks should be jammed with gaggles of publicity-seeking costume wearers, God-fearing sign toters, Simpson supporters, Simpson haters and curiosity seekers taking it all in.
"It's going to be a zoo down at the courthouse," longtime Las Vegas defense lawyer James "Bucky" Buchanan said.
Even the nearby Courthouse Bar & Grill is commemorating the trial with a daily "O.J." special, owner Chip Lightman said, starting Monday with orange chicken, a shot of orange juice and a pair of onion rings to signify handcuffs.
It's a lot of hoopla for what legal observers called a simple armed robbery case.
"It's a nothing case, but it's O.J.," Buchanan said.
Simpson, the former star running back who was acquitted of double murder in 1995, and Clarence "C.J." Stewart face a host of charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping, in last September's incident involving sports memorabilia in a Palace Station hotel room. They face up to life in prison if convicted on all charges.
Four co-defendants have pleaded guilty to reduced charges in exchange for their testimony.
Clark County courts spokesman Michael Sommermeyer said he knew the case would draw intense media interest when he saw two dozen news vans and trucks outside the courthouse for Simpson's first court appearance last year.
For the trial, the court has issued more than 470 press badges for representatives from about 50 media outlets, including news stalwarts such as the New York Times and Time magazine and celebrity shows such as Entertainment Tonight (with legal correspondent Marcia Clark, chief prosecutor in Simpson's double-murder trial) and Inside Edition.
The list also includes news crews from Los Angeles television stations, famed writer Dominick Dunne and a handful of international news outlets.
Court officials, who have spent months planning for the trial, said they expect it to be business as usual behind the courthouse doors. Simpson's trial requires extra security and will cost taxpayers between $7,000 and $10,000 a day, court officials estimated.
The trial starts with jury selection, which is expected to take about a week, followed by the trial, which could take more than a month.
Without Simpson, the trial probably would be over in about four days, said Charles Kelly, a defense lawyer and former prosecutor.
He said the biggest challenge for Simpson and Stewart is overcoming four co-defendants testifying against them.
"There's an old saying, 'You've got to get on the train or get run over by it,'" Kelly said. "Apparently, these four guys jumped on board, and O.J.'s about to get steamrolled."
Defense lawyers will have to weed out potential jurors who want to convict Simpson because he was acquitted in the murder case, he said.
"Most people, by and large, believe he got away with murder," Kelly said. "There's going to be a juror with an agenda who wants to right a wrong."
Buchanan agreed but said Simpson probably will be convicted based on the evidence against him in this case and face the rest of his life in prison.
"It's just a simple armed robbery that went down," he said. "It should be a slam dunk conviction."
Contact reporter Brian Haynes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0281.