Sports in Las Vegas rose to a whole new level this year.
From getting a major league team to hosting big fights and even seeing major sports book renovations, local sports fans got quite a bit in the past 12 months, many of them things fans never thought they would see in Sin City.
Here’s a list of gifts Las Vegas sports fans could say they got for Christmas this year:
MAJOR LEAGUE SPORTS
And aside from already having a venue built for the team in T-Mobile Arena, which opened this year before the Las Vegas expansion team was announced, this gift just kept giving and giving.
Foley also purchased land and broke ground on a practice facility promised to be the “best of its kind” by Golden Knights general manager George McPhee.
NEW UNLV BASKETBALL COACH
Technically UNLV basketball fans got the gift of two new coaches this year … but only one stayed.
MANNY PACQUIAO RETURN
Boxing fans were blessed with the return of Manny Pacquiao to Las Vegas. Pacquiao fought Jessie Vargas in November at the Thomas & Mack Center.
While it wasn’t anywhere near the hype of his previous Las Vegas fight — against Floyd Mayweather in 2015 — the bout saw the future Hall of Famer beat Vargas by unanimous decision to win the WBO welterweight belt.
Mixed martial arts fans got a lot of Conor McGregor — two fights, both against Nate Diaz.
McGregor and Diaz first met at UFC 196 on March 5 at the MGM Grand Garden, where McGregor was handed his first loss, by second-round submission. The two then met at UFC 202 on Aug. 20 at T-Mobile Arena, where McGregor won by majority decision.
RONDA ROUSEY IS BACK
Speaking of UFC … she is back. Need we say more?
MMA fans get to see the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion return to action next week at UFC 207. Rousey has been out of the octagon for more than a year after losing to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in Australia — the first defeat of her career.
Rousey will fight bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes on Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena.
Southern Nevada doesn’t have an NFL team, or any team to fill a 65,000-seat stadium, but pro football fans in Las Vegas did see the approval of a $1.9 billion domed stadium proposal.
The proposal, signed into law by Gov. Brian Sandoval in October, would be home to the NFL’s Raiders if the league allows them to relocate from Oakland — a goal owner Mark Davis has been working toward for a long time.
SPORTS BOOK RENOVATIONS
For those who enjoy kicking back at the sports books to place bets and watch games, many places around the valley made major improvements.
Station Casinos sports books at Red Rock Resort, Boulder Station, Green Valley Ranch Resort, Sunset Station, Santa Fe Station and Palace Station all saw improvements in video capabilities, seating, displays and more.
The Westgate’s sports book had the biggest renovation of the year, and the Venetian’s Lagasse Stadium debuted, bringing a high-end feel to sports viewing and dining.
EL TRI vs. ICELAND
We don’t have a Major League Soccer team, but fans were gifted quite the announcement last month for an upcoming matchup. Mexico and Iceland will play a friendly Feb. 8 at Sam Boyd Stadium ahead of FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The game was announced last month, and tickets are on sale.
Three days later, we get the return of MLS with an exhibition between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes.
Which gift was your favorite? Take our poll below:
Contact Kira Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3880. Follow @kiraterry on Twitter.