Michelob Ultra Arena – Las Vegas Aces
Photos by Lloyd Brown and Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86
Michelob Ultra Arena 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89109
Year Opened: 1999 Capacity: 12,000
The Michelob ULTRA Arena is a 12,000-seat sports and entertainment venue at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. It opened as the Mandalay Bay Events Center in 1999, before changing its name as a part of a naming rights agreement in 2021.
Since 2018 the arena has served as the home of the Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA. The Aces were previously the San Antonio Stars before moving to Nevada. The Aces play in the Western Conference of the WNBA. The team has been a regular in the playoffs since moving to Las Vegas, including two trips to the WNBA Finals. The Aces won the 2022 WNBA title in a four-game sweep over the Connecticut Sun. The arena also hosted the 2019 and 2023 WNBA All-Star Game.
The Aces are one of two WNBA teams that play in an arena attached to a casino. The other team is the Connecticut Sun, who play at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Food & Beverage 3
It is nearly impossible to starve or lose weight in Las Vegas, as food is ever-present, and in large servings. Even before you get to the arena itself, you’ll be passing some very tempting restaurants. However, this is a review of the arena’s food options… so here is what you can expect.
There is nothing unique about the food and beverage options at the Michelob Ultra Arena. It offers the typical arena foods including hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, BBQ, and dessert items like snow cones, soft serve ice cream, and mini donuts. Beverages start at $14, and they serve Budweiser products. All concessions at Michelob Ultra Arena are done through either permanent stands or roving carts along the concourse.
We suggest getting something from Slice of Vegas either before or after an Aces game. They offer an extensive menu of pizzas at very reasonable prices. It is in the Shoppes at Mandalay Place.
This is Las Vegas, so you are sure to be entertained at an Aces game. The team introductions are quite a spectacle, and that’s just the beginning of the show.
Entertainment during breaks in the action is provided by the High Rollers Dance Team and the antics of Bucket$, the team’s desert jackrabbit mascot. Fans shout out the word “Night” during the National Anthem. This has become a Las Vegas tradition at all sports activities in the city since the arrival of the Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL.
Even though the capacity of the Michelob ULTRA Arena is listed at 12,000, it feels much more intimate than that. Most of the seating is at the lower level, providing you with an up-close view of the action. The electronics package at the arena is top of the line, as the sound system and the lighting are frequently used for concerts and other types of shows.
The Mandalay Resort and Casino is located at the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip. It is located just 2.5 miles from the city’s McCarran International Airport.
The immediate neighborhood of the Michelob ULTRA Arena is the Mandalay Resort and Casino itself. There is plenty to do in the Resort, including shopping at the Shops at Mandalay Place, or having a bite to eat at restaurants including Slice of Vegas, Border Grill, and Wahlburgers. Attractions at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino include The Michael Jackson ONE show by Cirque du Soleil and the Shark Reef Aquarium.
Of course, the Las Vegas Strip also awaits just outside of the Mandalay’s doors. It offers world-class entertainment, unique attractions, and great restaurants. If you are a sports fan, you can choose to attend a Raiders football game, a Golden Knights hockey game, or an Aviators baseball game. Of course, in Las Vegas, you can bet on the games as well (legally!).
The fan base in Las Vegas is unusual in that most of the locals are involved in the hospitality industry and are actively working to serve you during your visit. However, the Aces seem to be very popular after work or weekend breaks for the locals from their work in the industry.
We saw lots of families and groups of young people enjoying a night off with the Aces. Other than some high rollers seated on the floor or at midcourt, the locals form a majority of the crowds at the basketball games. You may want to people-watch the seats on the court, as NFL GOAT Tom Brady is one of the part owners of the Aces!
The Aces draw an average attendance of 5,607. Even though that seems only half full in a 12,000-seat venue, it is important to realize that only a portion of the seats in the facility is used for Aces games.
We advise against renting a car in Las Vegas unless you plan to visit some outlying areas such as the Hoover Dam or the Grand Canyon. In addition to the wait and expense of getting a rental car, there’s the expense of parking at each stop and the hassle of Las Vegas traffic. Free shuttles are available at most hotels, and options including the Las Vegas people mover and Uber also exist.
Upon arrival at Mandalay Resort and Casino, head inside and go right at Lupo and continue past KUMI and Stripsteak. Follow the walkway past Starbucks and take the first right down the hallway leading to the Michelob ULTRA Arena entrance. The arena has only an exterior entrance from a parking area and the entrance that takes you through the casino.
Doors to the Michelob ULTRA Arena open only 30 minutes before tipoff, instead of the customary one hour. This results in some backup at the gates before the game. The concourse serves both levels of arena seating and can also become congested. The concession stands to get overwhelming at halftime, so try to get your food and beverages during other breaks in the action.
Return on Investment 3
Tickets on the lower level of the Michelob ULTRA Arena carry a high roller price tag of $100 for seats at midcourt. Celebrity wannabes can also purchase a table for $238 a person or $500/$1,000 for courtside seats across from/next to the team bench.
Seats in the 200 level are $10. Be aware that only certain sections of the 200 level are available for the Aces game. Parking is available at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for $30. However, most people do not need a car during their stay in Las Vegas, as most hotels along the Strip provide free shuttles in between the Strip attractions.
The Michelob ULTA Arena has also played host to numerous WWE events and UFC fights throughout the year.
The Las Vegas Desert Dogs lacrosse team also plays their home schedule at the arena. They play in the National Lacrosse League.
The owners of the Aces are Mark Davis, owner of the Las Vegas Raiders of the NFL, and Tom Brady, formerly the quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots of the NFL. Aces coach Becky Hammon was the first female coach in the NBA. She previously served as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.
Among the non-sports events that have been held at the Michelob ULTRA Arena are the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants and concerts featuring Journey, Ozzy Osborne, Luciano Pavarotti, and the Latin Grammy Awards.
We’re betting you are going to have a great time at a Las Vegas Aces game at the Michelob ULTRA Arena. Terrific basketball, Vegas-style entertainment during the breaks, and easy access to food, drink, and gambling add up to a very entertaining evening!