Neon Diary- UFC adding punch to Mexican Independence Day in Las Vegas

Friday, November 17, 2023


Author: Doug Puppel

Las Vegas

Expect some indoor fireworks next year for Mexican Independence Day in Las Vegas.

That;s when the UFC takes over the MSG Sphere for the first fight card booked for the jaw-dropping $2.3 billion (US) spherical event venue that opened this fall.

Dana White, CEO of the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion company, set a high bar when he told reporters to expect “the greatest live combat sports show anybody has ever seen” on Sept. 14, 2024, a Friday night that would kick off the Mexican independence celebrations that typically fill Las Vegas with revelers…. Long before the UFC fighters enter the octagon, Sphere CFO Gautam Ranji took some lumps.

According to the New York Post, Ranji calmly quit amid a tirade by Sphere Entertainment CEO James Dolan, angered over the Sphere’s financial performance.

Shortly thereafter, the company reported a nearly $100 million (US) loss for the quarter, which ended just prior to the venue’s opening.

What’s the “greatest dish” in Las Vegas?

According to a 1,500-word Bon Appetit article, it’s a $6 almond Danish available at the Bellagio coffee shop in Las Vegas. Under the headline “You Can’t Leave Vegas Without Trying This Croissant,” writer Bett Martin admits, “there are a lot of good things to eat in Las Vegas. Somehow I can never remember any of them.”

That’s not true with Bellagio danish, which morphed from the original croissant offering available when the luxury resort opened a quarter century ago.

Martin gushes about how it was love at first bite: “It was my Platonic ideal: moistened with a drizzle of rum syrup but still buttery and crackling, filled with a layer of almond cream that lightly oozed out into the pastry’s delightfully chewy burnt edges, and topped with a snowfall of powdered sugar and a plate-armor coating of toasted almonds.”

The piece also delves into the ancient history of French baking and the recent history of Las Vegas.

The effort to bring a Big League Baseball team to Las Vegas is expected to advance this week when team owners vote on allowing the Oakland A’s to relocate.

The vote is expected Thursday, part of an owners meeting in Texas, and The Athletic’s Evan Drellich reports that approval is expected.

The A’s are already moving ahead with a planned stadium on the Strip where the Tropicana now stands.

In the first half of November, major Las Vegas resorts came to a contract agreement with the Culinary Union, which represents hotel housekeepers, servers, cooks, and bartenders.

The five-year contract covers more than 50,000 workers and includes significant wage increases, healthcare improvements, and new protections against harassment and discrimination and being replaced by technology.

Doug Puppel is a writer and model who has reported on Las Vegas for 35 years.

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