Las Vegas Strip Parade for WNBA Champs Celebrates City’s First Major Sports Win
Posted on: September 19, 2022, 11:30h.
Last updated on: September 19, 2022, 01:11h.
The Las Vegas Strip’s busiest block will shut down Tuesday for a parade and rally celebrating the Las Vegas Aces’ WNBA championship win.
The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. near Caesars Palace, then proceed southbound along Las Vegas Boulevard to the fountains at Bellagio for the rally. Both are free and open to the public.
On Sunday in Phoenix, the Aces beat the Connecticut Sun 78-71 in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals. Chelsea Gray was named Finals MVP. The point guard scored 20 points, five rebounds, and six assists as the Aces clinched the series, 3-1.
The Las Vegas team’s win also marks the first time any major-league sports team from Las Vegas has won a sports championship. Before the Aces, only the Vegas Golden Knights came close, getting as far as the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season.
In recognition of the victory’s special meaning to Sin City, the Aces received a special salute when they arrived back in Las Vegas early Monday. After their plane landed at Harry Reid International Airport, two fire trucks sprayed an arch of water around it.
“We’ve quickly transformed into the sports capital of the world, and where better to celebrate the first championship than in Clark County,” Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “As somebody who grew up here, I could never have envisioned where we are today. I’m just so proud of the team and their leadership, the activism they’re doing here in the community, and what it means for the future of sports in Nevada.”
Culmination of Decades of Effort
The push to attract major league sports teams to Las Vegas began in earnest with an unsuccessful bid for the Montreal Expos in 2004. Working against Las Vegas at the time was the presence of legalized sports betting, which was frowned upon by many league commissioners. Questions also surfaced about whether Las Vegas’ 1.6 million population was enough to support a major-league sports franchise.
In the 18 years since, all such questions about Las Vegas have evaporated. The Golden Knights have played to packed houses since 2017 — and the Las Vegas Raiders since 2021 — without a sports betting scandal.
Talks are currently underway to land teams from the NBA, MLB, and MLS.
Aces Rally Lineup
At the Bellagio fountains, Gov. Steve Sisolak is expected to present the Aces with a “key to the Strip.” (The Strip lies outside the City of Las Vegas, in unincorporated Clark County.) Performances are also scheduled from the Full Tilt Dance Crew, the High Rollers, and Aces DJ Joe Green.
Traffic on the Strip’s southbound lanes will be closed to vehicles between Flamingo Road and Bellagio Drive from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday for the event. Roads near Caesars Palace and Flamingo Road will see rolling closures.
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