Las Vegas rugby League

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas… unless you work for Family of League!

LAS VEGAS, NV – National Manager for Fundraising, Partnerships & Events, Doug Keen, recently embarked on a trip of a lifetime with his family, personally funding their visit to the NRL’s Double Header season opener in Las Vegas. This adventure brought back many memories for Doug, specifically his deep involvement with American Rugby League since the 1990s, as a trainer and referee, which solidified his passion for the sport.

Prior to the upcoming game day, Doug had the opportunity to reunite with friends he hadn’t seen in decades at the USA Rugby League Players reunion, also held in Vegas. The event was a nostalgic gathering, evoking cherished memories from Doug’s extensive involvement in the sport.

Many states of excitement

Additionally, Doug and his family took advantage of their time in this area, exploring nearby popular tourist destinations such as Hollywood, Universal Studios, Disneyland – and even venturing to Palm Springs for a delightful-desert sojourn.

They also enjoyed visiting the famous Raiderettes’ museum, adorned with all the American football culture this gun entertainment team is well known for around the world.

Doug and his family also had the privilege of staying at the Las Vegas Hilton. Alongside the footy players, media circus, and NRL club administration, further immersing himself in the rugby league buzz that permeated the city. Similar to a game of ‘Frogger’, they jumped from one bunch of footy friends to another… all abuzz with footy fever, while building incredible memories for years to come.

However, when it came to game-time, he was certainly impressed by the state-of-the-art Allegiant Stadium. Doug described it as “first class” and marvelled at its sheer size, styling and presence… having only been built just three years ago. Plus, the fans themselves were super hyped for an outstanding experience, with thousands adorning themselves in team jerseys and club colours, creating a vibrant atmosphere.

Action on an off the field

Doug is not one for kicking back and just watching. Not only was he super enthusiast about attending the games, in between bumping into old buddies like the NRL’s Renee Gartner, he also participated as a sideline participant. Appointed as the person responsible for overseeing a constant supply of footballs for each match, he made sure there were plenty of backup footies when the ball was kicked out into the crowd. Unlike Australia, in the US, when the ball is kicked out, any fortunate fan that catches the ball… keeps the ball. Fortunately, when that happened, Doug was on the job!

Reflecting on the event, Doug expressed his belief that this footy extravaganza lived up to all the hype, even exuding a grand final atmosphere. He predicts that next year’s crowd will easily expand to an impressive 45,000 to 50,000 attendees.

However, amidst the excitement, Doug also kept a constant vigilance for any ‘unfair play’, even off the paddock. This paid off when he thwarted three pickpockets attempting to steal his wallet from a back pocket. His assertive response, including calling loudly for police and security, sent the criminals fleeing.

Wrapping up this amazing experience

In Doug’s eyes, the event was truly memorable and executed with utmost professionalism. His involvement in the game events and familiarity with key figures in the footy world even led to several TV interviews broadcast to Australia.

Doug’s enthusiasm for the experience is evident as he wholeheartedly recommends attending next year’s event. He advises visitors to allocate more than just a weekend (he and his family spent a week), as there is an abundance of activities to enjoy in Vegas and along the West Coast of the United States… and all of it, according to Doug and his family, was an outstanding experience!

Doug has also brought some of that USA razzle dazzle back with him, as he prepares his latest Family of League fundraising event at Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club. Kicking off this Friday 15 March at Noon, this ‘Rugby League-Australia to the USA’ lunch event features Cliff Lyons, David Boyle, Denis Fitzgerald, Paul Dunn, Gladiator Mark McGaw with MC Renee Gartner and comedian Rob Shehadie + more! For details click here.