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  • Richard Smith

Cox Pavilion - UNLV Rebels

Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

Cox Pavilion 4505 S. Maryland Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89119

Year Opened: 2001

Capacity: 2,500


Home of the Runnin' Rebels

The Cox Pavilion is the home of women’s basketball and volleyball at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Opened in 2001, it allowed the women’s programs to move from the too-spacious Thomas & Mack Center into a space more suitable to the teams. A few games a year of women’s basketball are still played at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion are co-located with each other and share box offices and parts of a concourse. A temporary wall is set up to separate the two venues in the concourse area and is obviously moved around as needed. They are located on the north end of the main UNLV campus.

UNLV was established in 1957. It is located in the Las Vegas suburb of Paradise, Nevada, in what is technically unincorporated Clark County. The university has strong science, business management, and law programs. The William Harrah College of Hotel Administration is annually ranked among the top hospitality programs in the United States due to the university's proximity to the Las Vegas Strip.

When the university was known as Nevada Southern University they had adopted the "Rebel" athletics moniker and utilized a mascot dressed in a southern Confederate uniform named Beauregard. The Confederate symbolism is gone but the “Rebel” mascot still roams the sidelines of most sports events.

Famous UNLV graduates include Cecil Fielder, Randall Cunningham, Jimmy Kimmel, Suge Knight, and Guy Fieri.

Food & Beverage 3

There is one simple food stand as part of the Cox Pavilion setup. The Cox Cafe is moderately priced with "Rebel Dogs" going for $4, pretzels $3, nachos $3, and popcorn for $3. The Kids Meal at $9 is a nice option that includes the hot dog, snack, and small soda. Sodas are $3 and $4, with bottled water also $3.

This is Vegas, so you should probably eat before or after a game at Cox Pavilion. But if you need to grab something quickly, the choices are not overwhelming but fairly priced enough.

Atmosphere 2

Unfortunately, the crowds for most women's basketball programs are not very large. UNLV is no exception here with a moderate size crowd filling in the basic two-grandstand setup here.

The UNLV Pep Band provides some atmosphere at the games and the Rebel mascot can usually be seen as well.

The venue can get pretty noisy, even with small crowds so watching a game here is still a good time.

Neighborhood 5

Well, you are in Las Vegas, so the neighborhood is pretty good. The arena is not walkable from the strip, although if staying at the Hard Rock Casino a walk is possible. That would be the ideal choice if coming here especially to watch a UNLV game.

The Las Vegas Strip is world famous with a bevy of food and entertainment options available. Mid-strip is always a solid choice.

If you have a car it is always good to wander off the strip. That is where one of the best buffets in town is located. Head to the M Resort far south on Las Vegas Boulevard for their Studio B Buffet, which includes unlimited beer and wine.

I also always recommend staying and playing in downtown Las Vegas. The prices are cheaper and the gambling is better. It is a bit grimier, but the area has a true life of its own. The D Hotel is a nice lodging choice there. Make sure to stop into Pizza Rock, Triple Seven Brewpub, and American Coney Island for great food. If just in a drinking mood, make sure to check out Oak and Ivy (in the very cool Downtown Container Park) and the iconic Atomic Liquors. There are also numerous bars in the Fremont East neighborhood, so that pretty much everyone can find a spot they will enjoy.

Fans 3

There are just not enough fans for women's college basketball. That is unfortunate as the action and sportsmanship are amazing to witness. The UNLV fans who are at the game do a great job of making noise and celebrating their team. The game I attended was between semesters so there should be more students in attendance when school is in session.

Access 4

Access to the venue is pretty good. Located right around the Paradise Road and Tropicana Road intersection the venue has plenty of free parking available.

Las Vegas can get very crowded so plan ahead, especially if you need to cross parts of the Strip or North Paradise Road, near the Las Vegas Convention Center, when a large conference is in town.

The I-15 interstate is not far away down Tropicana Road.

Return on Investment 4

Tickets can be had for a fairly cheap price of $8. For the great entertainment value, as well as coming with free parking the return on investment is solid.


Extras 3

One of the NBA Summer Leagues often uses the Cox Pavilion. There are signs on the wall noting this. It is nice to see games at an arena where so many future and upcoming basketball stars have played at.

I enjoyed seeing the volleyball and women's basketball teams having banners showing all of the current teams. That is a nice touch that makes you feel like rooting for the home team.

The best extra is that you are in Las Vegas. Only minutes away is a large amount of entertainment, food, and gambling options that make this sports venue a unique sports choice.

Final Thoughts

The intimate atmosphere of this simple gym is an excellent choice while in Las Vegas when you want to witness some pure sports entertainment.

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