This Week’s Newsmoji—Sports Talk and Rebuilding Las Vegas

An emoticon guide to Las Vegas’ top headlines

By Larry Braverman

Let’s help each other and hope for better times to come in 2021.

Knight Time

🏒 📺 📣 You know the excitement and expectations are at a fever pitch when the media overlords decide to give your team added time in the spotlight. That honor is now bestowed on our very own Vegas Golden Knights. NBC Sports on Wednesday announced that it would broadcast 10 Golden Knights games—up from five—nationally this season, beginning with the January 18 home game against the Arizona Coyotes. Let that sink in, Golden Knights fans, your team is becoming a national phenomenon, and for good reason. As previously written, expectations are high for Vegas to finally capture the Stanley Cup in Season 4. Let’s not get overconfident, but it’s okay to start dreaming of that nighttime championship parade down on the Strip. 

Really Raiders?

🏈 😥 🍻 Vegas pride filled our hearts as we watched the puck drop on our first Golden Knights game at the T-Mobile Arena. Maybe the Raiders can ask for a do-over next season? The underachieving Oakland imports didn’t come close to matching the inaugural highs of their NHL counterparts, and now, with the Josh Jacobs arrest, they’re racking up as many off-field penalties as the ones that handicapped their first year at Allegiant Stadium.

This town loves a winner. The Raiders have a lot of work to do in this offseason.

Be Like Damian Salas

😄 🂡 💰 Speaking of winners, let’s all take a moment to congratulate the World Series of Poker champion, Damian Salas. This Argentinian sent his opponents packing and walked away with more than $1.5 million and the coveted Main Event bracelet earlier this week. Salas has described his poker play as merely a hobby, or a side hustle. Beats the hell out of an Etsy shop. While he’s under no obligation, Salas is welcome to stick around, and buy a house like everyone else is doing right now.  

Saving the Smith Center

🎭 😥 🙏🏽 We’re finally out of 2020, but Las Vegas is still an economic wreck. It’s going to take a lot of work to rebuild the institutions that were deeply scarred by the pandemic. One of those institutions, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, is asking Las Vegans to contribute to its “Road to Reopening” fund

The nonprofit has been forced to cancel or postpone more than 450 performances since last spring. It’s not just the shows that make the Smith Center a cultural centerpiece of the community; educational programs such as the children’s Camp Broadway are also on hold, with no clear expectation for reopening. If you’re able to support the organization, it would go a long way to helping Las Vegas get back to normal fast. 

Building Back Better

👷🏼 🚧 🏨 Anyone else have dreams, fantasies really, of a fully built Las Vegas Strip with a big, bright skyline and absolutely zero patches of empty land? While the resort corridor will always be a work in progress, it warms the heart to hear that a new project is about to get off the ground. This week, it’s Majestic Las Vegas, a 720-room hotel going up on the site of the former Clarion hotel, directly across from the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion (location, location, location). Majestic won’t be a gambling destination, but it will cater to business travelers at the Convention Center. I don’t think anyone needs to be told how badly Las Vegas wants those conventions back. Majestic is supposed to open in 2024, which is a ways off, but hopefully, between now and then, a few more projects will fill in the aforementioned empty lots. 

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