Once upon a time, there was a whole lot to say about Monday Night Football parties in Las Vegas. It was a wide-open competition with free hot dogs and beers, gambling promos and even big-name concerts in the mix (I remember catching Eddie Money at the Rio). Things have tapered off gradually, finally hitting a point where, for the first time in 15 years, not a single free dog or beer is to be had on Monday nights. The last holdout was Sam’s Town, which has finally discontinued the practice. OK, it’s just one beer. But it’s also a sign of the decline of Monday Night Football as a major marketing focus. Still, there are options.
If you want to see it the way it used to be, head over to South Point, where the biggest MNF crowd in town gathers in the showroom. Admission is free and there are $2 beers, along with $1 dogs and popcorn, $4 subs and $5 wings (that aren’t much of a bargain with five to an order). Several screens project the action and everyone is into the game. There are cash drawings each quarter for a total of $1,000. If you want a rowdy football gathering, this is the place to go.
Other good Monday-night shindigs convenient to the Strip are held at Gold Coast and The Orleans. And while they don’t run formal parties, the Station Casinos sportsbooks are as good as any for MNF deals, offering $2 dogs and $2 beers, along with property-specific extras. For example, Palace Station’s Little Tony’s restaurant has giant slices of NY-style thin-crust pizza priced at $1.50 for cheese and $2 for pepperoni—easily the best pizza deal in town.
The other traditionally good MNF play has been the topless clubs, and here too there’s a clear South Point-like leader. Whereas most of the clubs have spotty crowds, Sapphire is mobbed. The $22 entry fee is a minor deterrent, considering it comes with two drinks (with premium choices) and a top-notch buffet that includes carved tri-tip, chicken marsala and some of the meatiest chicken wings you’ll ever meet. There’s also non-stop merchandise giveaways and the sort of halftime festivities that you’d expect from a topless joint. Other good gentleman’s club picks for free parties with food are Treasures and Palomino, while Hustler and Déjà vu both have sweet drinking deals if you want to tip three, four, or more.
One more winner comes from Ellis Island, which isn’t bad on Monday Nights ($1 home-brewed beers and $5 plates (three sliders, two hot dogs or eight wings), but really shines earlier in the day. EI’s creative Monday Lounge Brunch runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas for $12, along with the full breakfast menu. It’s a perfect way to get their $6.99 steak special for an extra three hours on Monday. The brunch also has live music.
Nope, it’s not what it used to be. Then again, football Mondays ain’t dead yet.
Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and lasvegasadvisor.com.