College hoops is here! Time to start planning your March Madness in Vegas

You’re not alone if you were caught off guard by the beginning of the college basketball season over the past week or so. The season caught me off guard as I was still focused on football and the beginning of the NBA season. 

College basketball eases into the season with exhibition games, non-conference warmups/mismatches and will continue with a slew of holiday tournaments over the next few weeks. It’s a perfect way to begin a season giving many of us time to wind down from football.

The tip off of the college basketball season should serve as a reminder that it’s time to start planning for the end of the season. If you’re thinking about visiting Las Vegas for the first weekend of March Madness you might want to get your plans in order.

The first four days of the NCAA Basketball tournament now rivals Super Bowl weekend as the busiest sports weekend of the year in Las Vegas. The first weekend of the tournament in 2016 is from Thursday, March 17 through Sunday, March 20. The first games of the day begin that Thursday morning shortly after 9 a.m local time. The good news with that is the the last game of the night is usually over by 9 p.m so there’s plenty of time to enjoy Vegas.

Preparing early for to visit Las Vegas for the first weekend of March Madness is important on a couple of levels. Supply and demand are in full effect during this busy weekend. If hotel rooms don’t sell out they’ll be close to capacity. The large crowds also narrow the options of where you’ll be able to stay. If have eyes on staying at a particular hotel then you’re best bet is to book sooner than later.

You’ll want to book rooms for March Madness early if price is a concern. The closer hotels get to capacity the higher the rates become. Even if you’re not 100% committed to visiting Las Vegas for the weekend you can hold rooms and cancel if you decide that you can’t make it. When you book rooms directly with a hotel you can often cancel without a change 72 hours before the check-in date. You should confirm the reservation policy before giving your credit card information since different hotels have different policies. Third party travel sites like expedia are even more restrictive on cancellations.

While you’re planning in advance you might want to research restaurants so you can make dinner reservations in advance. Many of the good restaurants will be full in advance of March Madness. This is especially the case with the best steakhouses in Vegas. This weekend is full of dudes and dudes love steak.

As a reminder Saint Patrick’s Day falls on March 17. If you’re used to drunken debauchery in Las Vegas you might want to prepare for even more debauchery, shenanigans and any chaos that a little extra booze may add to the first day/night of March Madness.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that the Super Bowl is just a few months away. The Big Game is February, 7 2016. You should already be preparing for Super Bowl weekend in Vegas. We’ll have more on the Super Bowl in Las Vegas coming soon.

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