• Raymond Mansi

Crime and Sports


On June 22nd, 2016 Las Vegas was granted with a professional sports team. The Las Vegas Golden Knights are the first professional sports team in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League began play in 2017. In the first season of hockey in Las Vegas the team made an impossible run at the Stanley Cup possible as the Golden Knights made it to the finals before losing in 5 games to the Washington Capitals. The Golden Knights will hope to win the championship in the team’s second season in the NHL. The Golden Knights will not be the only professional sports team in Las Vegas. The Oakland Raiders of the National Football League will be moving to Las Vegas in 2020. There were many that thought that no professional sports team would be in Nevada. Las Vegas is the only city in the state large enough to host a professional sports team and when the NBA made a visit to Las Vegas in 2007 it did not go well. The 2007 NBA All-Star Game was played in Las Vegas. The game happens every February and is full of events that bring the best NBA players in one location. Thousands of fans flock to wherever the game is played to enjoy the festivities. When the game came to Las Vegas it was a fun event. Unfortunately the event will be remembered for all the crime that occurred in Las Vegas. There was a drastic increase in crime during the weekend that the NBA All-Star Game was played in Las Vegas in 2007.


The Las Vegas Golden Knights brought the community together during the team’s Stanley Cup run. Fans gathered to watch games and to cheer on the Golden Knights. “Entertainment as Crime Prevention: Evidence from Chicago Sports Games” was released in May by two researchers at University of California at Davis. The study takes a look at crime rates and sports. Data was gathered from January 2001 through December 2013. Researchers looked at major sporting events such as the Super Bowl and professional games involving Chicago teams and crime reports. The authors, Hannah Laqueur and Ryan Copus, compared reports from when the games were in progress and compared them to reports that occurred on the same days and times that games were not being played. Results showed that there was a decrease in crime while games were on. When the Chicago Bears were playing football there was a 13% decrease in crime. There was a decrease while the Super Bowl was played but then there was a spike afterwards. Besides the Super Bowl there were no spikes in crime after any other games. Overall in the city of Chicago crime did see a decrease in crime while games were on.


There are studies out there that say that crime can increase when a team loses. Other studies say when there is a college football game being played at home that there can be an increase of assaults on college campuses. With the city of Las Vegas becoming the latest American city to gain a professional sports team for the first time it will be interesting to see if the city will see any changes in crime while the Golden Knights and Raiders play.

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This project was supported by Grant No. 15-NCS-X-02 (NIBRS) 2015-R2-CX-K043 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.

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Site last updated on:   Decemcber 3,  2019