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Sam Boyd Stadium overhead shot

Las Vegas

Sam Boyd Stadium

From 1990 to 2019, dreams were realized in Las Vegas. The site of championship finales and unique track designs with the iconic Monster Alley section, the entertainment capital of the world was the backdrop for some of the biggest moments in the history of Supercross.

Fast Facts

Venues

Sam Boyd Stadium is one of the most historic stadiums in the history of Monster Energy Supercross. The home to the UNLV Rebels college football team for many years, Sam Boyd Stadium hosted a Supercross round from 1990-2019. The event served as the finale and the site of the annual Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout until its tenure on the schedule came to a close. The stadium was also FELD Motorsport’s most iconic venue, hosting Supercross finales, the Monster Energy Cup, and 19 editions of the Monster Jam World Finals.

Iconic Moments

Championship celebrations, near misses, and rivalries defined the Las Vegas Supercross round. Here are some of the most iconic moments from Sam Boyd Stadium, including the night the lights went out.

1995: The Night The Lights Went Out In Vegas

The 1995 Supercross finale was headlined by a bizarre event in Supercross standards. 80% of Las Vegas lost power due to a blown transformer, including Sam Boyd Stadium. The outage occurred just before the 250 LCQ and delayed action. It would be an hour and a half before the stadium’s generators fired, with announcers trying to keep the crowd entertained. Temporary lighting was brought in to finish the night, but several star riders were unwilling to risk potential injury. 250 champion Jeremy McGrath, Mike Kiedrowski, Brian Swink and others decided against racing. As the premier class race began with 14 of 20 riders, Yamaha’s Jeff Emig dominated to take his first career 250SX win. While the win was a great accomplishment, Emig wasn’t satisfied without many of the top competitors on the gate. He originally didn’t want to race either, but changed his mind when KTM riders began making their way to the gate, and to not disappoint the fans who waited it out. The refusal to race was the tipping point for many riders, with Emig saying, “they keep taking, taking, taking from us and we keep giving, giving, giving” about the AMA’s lack of a points fund and help for racers.

2006: Triple Threat

The 2006 Supercross season is remembered as one of the greatest championship fights in the history of the sport. Heading into Las Vegas, three of the sport’s greatest were within five points of the championship. Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael and Yamaha’s Chad Reed entered the round tied for the points lead. Kawasaki’s James Stewart was just five points behind the duo after taking the win the previous week in Seattle. In a winner take all battle between Carmichael and Reed, Stewart won the main event to put his stamp on a fantastic season and wrapped up the World Supercross title in the process. Carmichael took second, winning his fifth and final premier class Supercross championship. With Reed finishing third, Stewart and Reed would end the year tied for second, just two points behind the GOAT.

2009: Until The Bitter End

Another heated championship battle took place in 2009. Once again, Chad Reed and James Stewart were in the fight for the championship. Now bitter enemies, Stewart led Reed by six points in his first season aboard Reed’s former ride at L&M Racing Yamaha. Reed’s first (and only) season with the factory Suzuki squad was remarkably consistent, but his three wins to Stewart’s 11 were the biggest reason for the title fight after Stewart’s opening round DNF. During the race, the duo had an intense battle, with Reed running Stewart wide, nearly taking him down. Up front, Ryan Villopoto cruised to his second career win with Reed second and Stewart slowing down to hold third and claim his second career 450SX title.

2017: From Dirt To First

The 2017 Las Vegas Supercross was one of the most chaotic nights in the history of the sport. In the 250 East/West Showdown, one of the most legendary main events in the history of the sport unfolded. With Justin Hill’s 250 West title secure, the focus was on a three man fight for the East championship. KTM’s Jordon Smith entered Vegas with the red plate, but Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy and Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne were each one point behind. Chaos ensued from the start, as Zach Osborne went down in the first corner. A few laps later, Smith went down in the long Monster Alley rhythm lane and knocked himself out of the title fight. With a struggling Savatgy falling and losing spots, the championship was anyone’s to claim. Up front, Adam Cianciarulo took the win and led a Pro Circuit 1-2 with Hill in second. Coming into the race with a 14 point deficit, Cianciarulo nearly ended up winning the title. However, Osborne charged through the pack and caught Savatgy on the final lap. After the second set of whoops, Osborne went in for the kill, taking out Savatgy and winning his first pro championship by two points over AC.

The 450 main event may have not topped the infamous 250 race, but it had its own set of craziness. Ryan Dungey led Eli Tomac by a handful of points and Tomac took the race lead with an aggressive move early. From there, Tomac began “bunching” the field, eventually causing 1st-7th to be separated by a mere three seconds. After a pass from Dungey, Tomac went in for another kill shot on the final lap but slipped, handing the win to Jason Anderson. Dungey held off Tomac for his fourth 450SX championship, and would retire a few days later.

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