Filled with buzzer-beaters, Cinderella stories and rim-rattling dunks, college hoops is must-see TV for sports junkies and casual fans alike. And since there's no escaping the extravaganza of college basketball, your best bet is to make March Madness memorable with an ice-cold Coca-Cola and a spot at one of these unique viewing venues across the country.
They say that numbers don't lie, and at this massive sports palace near Coca-Cola headquarters, the figures add up to a great place to gorge yourself on basketball. STATS has more than 70 high-definition TVs, so you don't miss a second of the action, no matter where you are. If you've got a group ready to make a day of March Madness, STATS has got you covered, with the Coke Zero Zone, a private room with its own entrance, leather couches, three 60-inch flat-screen TVs and a cool design that makes it feel like you're in your own special basketball heaven.
Lagasse Stadium, Las Vegas
Everything is maximized for entertainment value in Las Vegas, and this super sports bar is no exception. In fact, calling it a sports bar might be doing this mecca, located at The Palazzo, a disservice given how it has revolutionized the way you can watch the action in style. This “luxury sports den” features hundreds of TVs all tuned to the action, stadium-style seating, sky boxes for rent, an on-site sports book and blackjack tables. Not to mention, it features the delectable food of renowned chef Emeril Lagasse, who has been known to pour a Coke or two in his recipes.
Fox Sports Midwest Live, St. Louis
Located at Ballpark Village, just a relay throw away from home plate at Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, this gathering spot is a great place to feed off the energy of the assembled crowd and cheer for every dramatic shot and shocking upset during tournament basketball. This hotspot features 1,200 sq. ft. of HDTVs, including a giant 40-foot screen that anchors the proceedings, live music and numerous viewing options that surround the central restaurant. And don't worry about spending all day inside – it features a 100-ft. retractable glass roof for when the sun is out.
The Clevelander, Miami
This South Beach landmark is a great place to soak up some rays and enjoy a full day of basketball as palm trees sway. They know how to party in Miami, and the Clevelander has two impressive options to get your hoops fix – at the outdoor pool bar, which also features a dance floor that you can utilize after your team pulls off a victory, or the interior sports bar, which has luxe leather couches and iPad-embedded tables. As a bonus, you can get all the latest scores and highlights at the ESPN Studios, where the ESPN show Highly Questionable is taped daily.
The 40/40 Club, New York
This hip-hop mogul-owned spot blends elements of sports bar (it's named after the exclusive homerun/stolen base combo achieved by only four players) and nightclub (top-notch DJs, swanky setting) to create a one-of-a-kind viewing experience. Gold is everywhere, from baseball bats to champagne bottles, and a catwalk allows visitors to take in the scene. You can check out games from the arena-style seating section, with a perfect view of state-of-the-art video walls, or from the luxurious owner's box, where you'll be in control of the games you watch.
Spirit of '77, Portland
Ever wished you could have thrown a great party in your high school gym? Well, your dreams have become reality at this rollicking sports bar in the Rose City. With parts of the building featuring salvaged material from a local high school gym floor, a classic basketball scoreboard and old-school pop-a-shot machines, the retro vibe is strong here. And while there are plenty of TVs for March Madness viewing, this place engenders a more communal feel, with most viewers following the games on the giant projection screen from shared tables and keeping track of the tournament on the giant chalkboard bracket.
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