Sports Rewind

DOWNWARD SPIRAL: The short-lived Las Vegas Posse rode into the (Canadian) football sunset on Nov. 5, 1994

It’s right there in the name. The Canadian Football League (CFL).

You might think that would confine the sport north of the border, but in the halcyon days of the early-to-mid 1990s, the CFL was expansion-minded. The league dipped its toe into the United States in 1993 by placing a franchise in Sacramento, Calif., and a year later Canadian football would come to three more American cities: Shreveport, La., Baltimore — and Las Vegas.

It was a heady time for pro sports in Las Vegas. The Thunder of the International Hockey League had come onto the scene in ‘93, and ‘94 saw three more pro teams activate in the Continental Indoor Soccer League, Roller Hockey International and the young Arena Football League. But despite the oddity of being an American team, the Las Vegas Posse were the best positioned group of the bunch, belonging to the longstanding and well-established Canadian league.

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Sports Rewind

GIDDY-UP DOWNFALL: Horse-racing trips out of the gate at Las Vegas Park, October 1953

Wind your way down Joe W. Brown Drive behind the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, and look just to the west where the Las Vegas Country Club sits now. If you squint, you might be able to see the backstretch of what once was Las Vegas Park.

In retrospect, hosting a thoroughbred meet in Las Vegas — even in the relatively placid weather of October — wasn’t a winning proposition. Racebooks already dotted the Strip, and for visitors from Southern California used to Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar, a racetrack was far less novel an experience than casino gambling.

That didn’t stop Joseph M. Smoot from trying. With other people’s money.

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Sports Rewind

HOOPS AND HOLLERIN’: NBA All-Star Game in Vegas was a rollicking party, Feb. 18, 2007

Twelve years ago this month, the 56th annual NBA All-Star Game roared into town, triggering a mega-wild weekend highlighted by a citywide party, a globally-viewed game and the NBA’s immersion in the Las Vegas community through numerous charitable endeavors.

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