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Are There Better Options To Paying $200 To Watch March Madness?

March 21, 2012 at 1:12 PM | by | ()

It's no secret that we love Lagasse's Stadium. It was our best sportsbook of 2011. We're pretty sure that we'll never not love Lagasse's Stadium. The setup and amenities make it a great place to watch the games. However, one thing we don't love is when management thinks the sportsbook will be particularly busy and they impose a minimum per person. Sometimes, the minimum is $50-$100 per person to have guaranteed seats for the games, but most of the time it's free.

Last week, a friend called to make a reservation for this Friday to watch the Sweet 16 games for March Madness. He was told it would be a minimum of $200 per person to watch the games from the stadium seats. He was taken aback and as much as he, and we, love Lagasse's Stadium he paused on making the reservation as he had friends to consider.

Calling back, he was given the option of a cocktail table for $100 per person. That's half the money, but not nearly as comfortable. Most of us will eat and/or drink $50 worth of food and drink during a few hours of games. We might even reach $100. But, we're not sure we can reach $200 per person in food and beverage consumption unless we were being delivered steaks from Carne Vino.

The Sweet 16 of March Madness draws about 40% of the crowd as the first two days of the NCAA basketball tournament. With that information, we're surprised over such a high minimum. In another Vegas Dilemma, our friends won't arrive in town early enough to stake out seats at a sportsbook and we're not sure of where else they could go on The Strip for guaranteed seating. We've racked our brain to help them.

So, where would you recommend our friends go? Let us know in the comments below.

Archived Comments:

Venetian may not be a bad option

If you want to sit in a book... you will need to set up an account with the book to ensure a seat (I think $500 minumum) but there are are no wagering minimums.  I don't think there are better TVs on the strip - all the other books pale in comparison from a viewing perspective.

The Trop is smaller but has decent viewing set up.

Sportsbook v Sportsbar

Well, I like the vibe at the sportsbars better myself.  Yeah, some of them charge covers for the big events but many do not.  It's just a matter of getting in early enough to get a seat.  A few of my favorites are Rock and Rita's at Circus Circus and Blondies at the Miracle Mile Shops Planet Hollywood.

Main Street Station, Triple 7 bar.

Best micro brew in town, never a cover and plenty of TVs. Or Binion's Benny's Bullpen.


Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I'll pass em on. Keep em coming. Again, they're looking for reserved seating since they'll get into town right at game time.

Getting Creative

I can't think of something right off the bat, but it may not hurt to call places that might not otherwise reserve seating and ask if it can be done and what the minimums are. Places like Benny's Bullpen and Rhumbar (outdoors weather permitting) have plenty of TV's and comfortable seating.

Properties are probably missing a golden opportunity here to do a Superbowl-type setup where they convert a ballroom, put up tons of TV's, perhaps put in some tables and booths, and charge a ticket price that guarantees you decent seating for the day.

I like Blondie's too....

.....but be forewarned: for the BCS title game in January, they had a $100 cover.  Granted, that included an open bar and an open buffet, but still.

As it turns out, the game was a snoozer, so glad I didn't pay the cover.  I was bored by halftime.


The casinos do that for the first weekend, but not this weekend which has less than half the people. Thanks for the recommendations. I think they actually may be able to reserve seats @ Rhumbar too.