We’re just a few months away from the return of the Mosconi Cup. The 26th edition of the iconic nine-ball pool tournament between the U.S. and Europe will this year be held at Mandalay Bay’s South Pacific Ballroom. It will be a particularly exciting year for American pool fans, given that the U.S. team will return to the competition as defending champions for the first time in nine years. Europe’s team looks likely to feature Joshua Filler, who is desperate to help the team win back the Mosconi Cup in the next transatlantic showdown.
The Mandalay Bay resort has hosted the Mosconi Cup before in 2017, so it’s fast becoming one of the leading amphitheaters for nine-ball pool in the world. Of course, it’s not all about the casino scene in Las Vegas anymore. In recent years, it has stepped aside and passed the status of the world’s gaming capital to Macau. For Vegas, it’s now about the whole entertainment package, as Mandalay Bay’s decision to host the Mosconi Cup again testifies. You can now rely on “Sin City” to offer great sport, great food, great drink, great nightlife and still a healthy dose of casino action thrown in for good measure.
Ticket prices for the 2019 Mosconi Cup have been set at a respectable $70 or less for “Gold” seats, which makes the event more accessible to pool fans than ever before. If you are lucky enough to have got tickets for any day of this four-day event, this article is designed to shine a spotlight on the Mandalay Bay Resort, giving you all you need to know about visiting and staying in this south Strip hotel.
Things to do inside Mandalay Bay
As the 2019 Mosconi Cup is being staged in late November, there will be next to no outdoor pool action available for sun-worshippers. Although day temperatures are still reasonably comfortable, the temperature does drop rapidly at night, which sees most resorts like Mandalay Bay close down its pools for the winter season.
So instead of the lazy river or the giant wave pool, you’ll have to amuse yourself indoors. The Shark Reef Aquarium is one of the biggest attractions for adults and children alike. It’s a chance to discover more about the world of underwater predators. The aquarium has its own walkway giving you a panoramic view of the sharks. Alternatively, the Mandalay Bay has its own Cirque du Soleil show, ONE, based around the success of Michael Jackson. With a healthy blend of daredevil acrobatics and pop music, it’s a fun way to wile away an afternoon or evening.
Where to eat before and after Mosconi Cup sessions
If you have a hankering for steak, you’re in the right place at Mandalay Bay. Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons, situated in the adjoining Four Seasons hotel, offers a “Steak of the Week” deal that makes enjoying some of the finest cuts the city has to offer a little more affordable. The recently restored Irish-themed pub, Ri Ra, also offers a warm welcome and a surprisingly authentic public house experience.
Those who want something a little more exclusive can check out Fleur by Hubert Keller, complete with seasonal French cuisine in a beautifully elegant setting. At the other end of the spectrum, if you simply want a quick bite to eat on the go, the resort’s Food Court offers something for everyone, from burgers and hot dogs to fast food Chinese.
Travel advice for those staying at Mandalay Bay
First and foremost, Mandalay Bay is notorious among locals and regular visitors to “Sin City” for being particularly chilly. The resort is less than frugal with its use of air conditioning, so it can be rather brisk at times on the casino floor and indeed in its attractions, so be sure to carry a sweater with you at all times. Mandalay Bay is also well-connected with tram services. There’s a free monorail line that runs between Mandalay Bay and Excalibur, calling at Luxor in between, which helps you reach closer to the centre Strip region.
If there are any other conventions or concerts on during the Mosconi Cup, this can clutter up the parking garage at Mandalay Bay. An alternative for visitors for the Mosconi Cup would be to park at Excalibur or Luxor and get the free tram across the Mandalay Bay.