MGM Grand Showcase Coming to Las Vegas - 8 News NOW

MGM Grand Showcase Coming to Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas has been hoops heaven in recent weeks. The NBA Summer League, USA basketball and Amateur Athletic Union basketball took place this summer. More is on the way.

Wednesday afternoon, MGM Grand representatives announced college basketball players from around the country will head to Las Vegas this year.

Four days before Christmas, the Grand Garden Arena hosts four of the top college basketball programs in the country - Marquette, New Mexico, Oklahoma State and Colorado - in a doubleheader dubbed the MGM Grand Showcase.

"We wanted the inaugural game to be big, and we wanted great teams, and it turned out that we got four great teams that are going to be in the top twenty preseason, but maybe even higher than that," said MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella. "All the great things we've done in the arena here, from boxing, to the best concerts to UFC - we have hockey here - and now, here we are turning the arena into basketball."

This isn't the MGM's first foray into college basketball. Grand Garden Arena hosted its first PAC-12 basketball tournament in March. The event generated rave reviews.

"It was really well received by the fans," said Colorado Basketball Coach Tad Boyle. "It's a destination spot that can accommodate a lot of different people and a lot of different things, and I think it's a great thing."

MGM executives agree. They recently signed a deal with a marketing firm in Kentucky that will provide college basketball to MGM for three years.

"All the fans and all the supporters want to come to Vegas, so that helps," said New Mexico Basketball Coach Craig Neal.

With Las Vegas seemingly becoming the college basketball capital of the world, many wonder if our city will one day host some NCAA Tournament games.

"You never know. With our new arena opening up down the road, hopefully, someday, Las Vegas would get a big game like that," Sibella said.

"It certainly has the infrastructure to do that," added Boyle.

"They've talked about building a big arena or big dome here," said Neal. "I think if they ever did that, there's a possibility that could happen."

The MGM Grand Showcase will not only feature great teams, it will benefit a great cause. A portion of the proceeds from every ticket sold will directly benefit the Coaches Versus Cancer program.

Tickets for the MGM Grand Showcase go on sale Thursday at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations.

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