Las Vegas Outdoor Events Venues Proving Popular Mike Hauer, CDC Gaming Reports · May 26, 2016 at 1:19 pm A daytime valet parking lot in Downtown Las Vegas and a mostly vacant lot on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip have transformed into popular outdoor events venues. The D Las Vegas’ Downtown Las Vegas Events Center on May 21 hosted Knockout Night at the D, which featured a dual-headlining main event that the CBS Sports Network broadcast live on national cable television. Fight fans began arriving around 5 p.m., with preliminary bouts starting at 7, and tickets were available for $20 up to $110 for ringside seats. Seating for fight fans consisted of floor-level seats on the north and south sides of the fight ring, with risers located on the east and west sides. The experience generally is intimate, with the ring located close to fan seating and virtually every seat having a great view of the action. Some fans seated furthest away in risers were impressed with how close they were to the action and said there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. A DJ entertained the prefight crowd from the Downtown Event Center’s stage, and a large video screen at the back of the stage showed the live action while the fights were underway. Those wanting food and drink kept the many concessions vendors busy. The Saturday night fight took place in ideal conditions, with a gentle breeze and the temperature in the upper 70s by fight time, making it an ideal viewing experience for fight fans of all ages. An added bonus – the Golden Nugget’s south hotel tower blocks the sun by 6 p.m. The Saturday night fights are typical of the types of events held at the outdoor venue, which D Las Vegas owner Derek Stevens has considered as a site for a downtown convention center. At one time, it housed a courthouse. For now, the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center hosts as few as 1,500 for boxing matches up to about 10,000 for outdoor concerts, and helps to draw more locals and visitors to the casinos on Fremont Street. It won’t complete its second year of business until September, but with the many boxing matches, MMA fights and concerts slated, including a growing list of popular classic rock bands and other musical genres, the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center has proven Downtown Las Vegas is capable of supporting a sizeable events arena. It also might convince Stevens a multipurpose indoor arena that can double as a convention center would be another winner. While Knockout Night at the D helped to showcase the apparent success of the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, MGM Resorts International is enjoying its own outdoor events venue success on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. MGM’s Las Vegas Village is located on a 15-acre lot on the east side of the Las Vegas Strip and directly across from the Luxor Casino. That leaves it ideally situated for guests at MGM’s Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, New York New York, Monte Carlo and MGM Grand Properties to reach the festival site with just a short walk. Others staying further away can use MGM’s system of trams to avoid a long walk on hot days and still make it to the outdoor venue. MGM opened Las Vegas Village about two years ago, and mostly uses it for hosting outdoor concerts, and During the second week in May, it became the new host location for the popular Las Vegas Helldorado Days festival, which hosts one of the nation’s oldest active rodeos and demonstrated the flexible nature of the Las Vegas Village venue. Las Vegas Elks Lodge #1468 has organized and produced Helldorado Days since 1934 and this year partnered with the Professional Bull Riders Association (PBR) to make this year’s event even bigger. In addition to the traditional Helldorado PRCA Rodeo, the bull riders association agreed to host its annual Last Cowboy Standing bull riding competition in Las Vegas in conjunction with Helldorado Days and the PRCA Rodeo. That made for a full day of rodeo action, with the added attractions of live music, a carnival, and vendors on the 15-acre site during the May 13-15 Helldorado Days event. The Helldorado Days organizers hope the venue change and partnership with the PRB Last Cowboy Standing bull riding event will help to revive the event’s popularity, which has waned in recent years. Meanwhile, MGM Resorts International, like the D Las Vegas, has proven its outdoor events venue has a strong potential for long-term success.