Tag Archives: basketball

Harlem Globetrotters Dunk Into Las Vegas

In their 84th consecutive season touring the world, the venerated Harlem Globetrotters bring their basketball hi-jinks as part of the 2010 Magical Memories World Tour to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for one-night-only, February 10 at 7:00 p.m.. 

Also known as the Magicians of Basketball® and the Ambassadors of Goodwill®, the Harlem Globetrotters entertain audiences with a dose of slapstick comedy and a unique mix of trick shots, high-flying dunks and basketball handling wizardry. 

The legendary team has played more than 25,000 games in their nearly 85-year history.  They have played in 120 countries, on six continents and for more than 130 million fans—including everyone from Presidents of the United States to the Pope. For the North American leg of their 2010 Magical Memories World Tour, the team will play nearly 270 games in more than 215 cities in 44 states, five Canadian provinces and in Puerto Rico. 

Tickets are on sale now and are priced at $21.00, $29.00, $36.00, $56.00, $76.00 and $114.00, inclusive of tax and fees. Tickets can be purchased at the Orleans Arena Box Office by calling 702-284-7777 or by visiting www.orleansarena.com.

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Former NBA Celtic Star Antoine Walker in Serious Debt, Writes $1 Million in Bad Checks in Las Vegas

Antoine Walker, a former NBA Boston Celtics star, is in deep debt and has been under pursuit of multiple financial institutions recently- and now, even Sin City has caught up with the wayward dribbler. AntoineWalker

Reportedly, in 12 years, 33-year-old Walker made more than $110 million by playing professional basketball just so-so. Taking away taxes, throwing in some aid as endorsement money and a “NBA Live 99” cover, he should be left with around $60 million. 

But all that loot has apparently vanished.  During the last several months, the once multi-millionaire athlete has been pursued by multiple financial institutions for unpaid debts. 

Now, Walker owes more than $4 million dollars to his creditors and is facing felony check fraud charges for allegedly writing $1 million in bad checks in Las Vegas.  Talk about a major foul out!

Does he need counseling from the reformed and outspoken NBA player Charles Barkley? 

How could that amount of money dissipate?   Well, Walker lived large- really large.  He always rolled with an outsized entourage. His mother estimates that, during his playing days, he was supporting 70 friends and family members in one way or another. 

And speaking of his good ol’ mom:  he built her a mansion in the Chicago suburbs, complete with an indoor pool, 10 bathrooms, and a full-size basketball court– hopefully, it allows her wheelchair access and includes a trainer.

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Las Vegas Makes Two Major Sports Announcements to Boost Local Economy

The Orleans Arena and parent company Boyd Gaming in Las Vegas announced on June 24 two major sporting announcements. 

First, the Orleans Arena will be the host for the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships in 2011 and 2012, a major NCAA tournament.

 The 8,500-seat Orleans Arena became a leading college basketball venue in 2006 when it hosted the Las Vegas Invitational, featuring a showdown between defending national champions Florida and Kansas.  Since then, the Las Vegas Classic has become an annual event each December featuring top college basketball programs.  In March 2009, the Orleans Arena hosted the sold-out NCAA West Coast Conference Championships. 

The WAC decision two years in the making,  came down to two host cities, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, with the unanimous nod to select Las Vegas by coaches and WAC management.  

“It was the easiest and quickest decision we’ve made,” said Karl Benson, right, of the WAC, adding they want to become “long-term business partners with the Orleans.” 

The neutral site afforded by Las Vegas overweighed any issues and concerns related to gaming and alcohol.  

The WAC tournament will be played March 8-12, 2011 and March 6-10, 2012.  The conference’s eight members are Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, San Jose State, and Utah State.

Tickets information will be provided at a later date. 

Adding even more team interest in Las Vegas, earlier this year the WAC announced plans to hold its 2009 Volleyball Tournament at the Orleans Arena November 23, 24 and 25. 

Further strengthening its reputation as one of Las Vegas’ leading sports and entertainment venues, the Orleans Arena also announced that it will host the Arena Football League 2’s ArenaCup 10 championship game on Saturday, August 22.  

With more than 25 teams competing in its 10th anniversary season, the Arena Football League 2 (af2) showcases fans-friendly football across the country having more than 200 regular-season and 15 post-season games scheduled.  The current season began on March 20. 

“We are excited to bring the ArenaCup to Las Vegas,” said af2 President Jerry Kurz, right. “Our owners saw the value in bringing our league’s showcase event to the biggest showcase city in the world.  Our fans will be treated to a unique, total entertainment experience from touchdown to takeoff.” 

The decision to select Las Vegas was a unanimous decision from all 25 league owners. 

Kurz might have also let the cat out of the bag, adding that they would like to have a team in Las Vegas and this championship game could be a precursor to that happening.  “We want to date before we get married,” said Kurz. 

With the Orleans Arena holding up to 7,100 fans for the championship game, tickets for ArenaCup 10 will go on sale July 10 at 10 a.m., priced from $17.50 to $60, said Orleans Arena Executive Director Davis. 

Ticket information is available by calling 702-284-7777 or visiting www.orleansarena.com

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March Madness Translates into Las Vegas Happiness?

It used to be that the Super Bowl was the zenith of all sporting events for Las Vegas marchmadnesssportsbooks.  However this winter’s celebration of the professional athlete is finding a fierce challenger in the March playoff celebration of collegiate basketball. 

Over the last 20 years there has been a steady increase in the number of visitors booking rooms in Las Vegas during March Madness.  In 2008, February basketball betting was $116.7 million compared to $238.9 million in March, more than doubling the money wagered in Nevada casinos.   

Will this trend continue this year?  Can March Madness help boost the Vegas economy yet one more time? 

The answer for right now seems to be – yes and a guarded yes.  Major Las Vegas sports books at Caesars, Mirage and the Hilton reported late last week that more men than last year showed up for the start of March Madness, while taking the time to lounge in comfy chairs, and more importantly for the Las Vegas economy, drink and eat. 

Though this year’s Las Vegas sports books are taking in a greater number of bets, both men and women are betting fewer dollars per wager- so far.  

“I’m pleasantly surprised in light of the economy,” said a beaming Jim Pedulla, director of Caesars’ race and sports book.  He arrived to work last Thursday and had to immediately find an extra 160 seats for the more than 1,000 people who packed his book by 5:30 a.m. 

While great hotel and restaurant deals in Las Vegas are abundantly available both on and off the Strip, all the Las Vegas hotel sports books are definitely bustling with the brisk post-St. Patrick Day-pre-Spring Break-currently-celebrating March Madness crowds. 

Will this bristling activity be eventually translated into happy – not maddening – Las Vegas revenues?

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