Wolf sightings are as common in Northern Nevada as the neon glow of casinos, pink-streaked skies, and miles of sagebrush. While I wish I were alluding to actual sightings of wolves (unfortunately, the most recent suspected sighting was coyotes), I’m talking about the blue and silver of the University of Nevada, Reno’s Wolf Pack.

Historically, Northern Nevada was more well known for its shows and 24-7 gambling nightlife than its sporting events. Many attempts have been made since the 1940s to bring professional sports to the area — the Reno Silver Sox baseball team, Reno Bighorns basketball team, Reno 1868 FC soccer, and Reno Renegades hockey team, to name a few. Still, we couldn’t sustain these teams long-term for various reasons.

Throughout the past 15 years, Reno has been focused on shifting from its casino-only attractions to growing more community-centric offerings. This shift in priorities has opened the door to minor league baseball and ice hockey, and the expansion of UNR athletics has increased our college town offerings. Hopefully, opening a 10,000-seat arena ideal for sporting events in 2025-26 will strengthen our sports town.

Learn more about top Northern Nevada sports and where you can take in a game and howl with the Pack.

Battle Born FC — Semi-Pro Soccer

Since the Reno 1868 FC shuttering during the pandemic, Northern Nevada soccer fans have been waiting for the next professional soccer team to hit the area. Battle Born FC, a semi-pro soccer team, gained approval from the Reno City Planning Commission in early 2023 for a 5,000-seat professional soccer stadium to be built in north Reno. The anticipated date of opening is 2024.

Until the complex is completed and opened, soccer fans can check out the Battle Born FC website to find live soccer game times, where to watch them, and upcoming practices and events.

Best sportsbooks

If the thrill of a loud stadium isn’t an option for watching your favorite team’s next big game, you may want to consider enjoying it from one of Northern Nevada’s sportsbooks. Most casinos boast walls of TVs, a wide selection of food and beverages, and betting options. The following are just some of the top sportsbooks in Reno and Sparks to catch a game:

  • Caesars Sportsbook at the Eldorado at THE ROW offers flat-screen TVs, current scores and stats, and food delivery service. The Caesar Sportsbook at Tamarack Casino in South Reno also features a giant screen and TVs throughout its casino, providing fans with options for where and how to watch.
  • Legends Bay Casino at the Legend’s Sparks Marina was recently voted a local’s 2023 favorite as best casino, casino bar, and sportsbook in its first year open. The sportsbook offers immersive technology, a wall of high-definition screens, terraced seating, booths, tables, and various food and beverage options.
  • The Peppermill recently upgraded its sportsbook to provide a high-tech theater featuring a 110-foot high-resolution LED display screen featuring 30 different games and events at once, box seat carrels with 24-inch touchscreen HDTVs, food options, and non-smoking sections.

Reno events in December - New Year's Eve Downtown Fire Works Display

UNR’s Nevada Wolf Pack

During the 1921-22 athletic season, a local writer described the team as a “pack of wolves,” and the wolf mascot later formed in 1923. The rest is history. Today, UNR’s athletics, known as the Nevada Wolf Pack, offers nearly a year of sports, ranging from cross country, track and field, and swimming to baseball, basketball, and football.

“Go to a UNR Wolf Pack basketball game. The energy is electric,” said Dickson Realty Agent Justin Hertz.

Fans can watch their favorite Wolf Pack sports on the UNR campus at Lawlor Events Center and Mackay Stadium. Football fans can sport their blue and silver during the fall to support the Wolf Pack Division I team at Mackay Stadium. Many fans tailgate in the parking lot before home games and layer up during the fall and winter’s frigid evenings.

Find live games, schedules, and where to watch them at the University’s Athletic site.

Reno Aces baseball

Minor league baseball coming to Reno in 2009 was all the buzz — and the Reno Aces continue to draw consistently large crowds to its Greater Nevada Field in downtown Reno. The franchise, a member of the Pacific Coast League and Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, created a great sense of community for locals with theme nights, fireworks, hot dogs, and brews.

Summer evenings at the ballpark provide the ideal mix of quintessential Americana and a sports lover paradise. It’s also an excellent opportunity to make new friends among fans and enjoy being part of the downtown community in a different way. To find a current schedule, visit the Reno Aces website.

Reno Ice Raiders hockey

There’s nothing quite like watching a hockey match — it’s an ice-laden display of skill, sticks, and a lot of attitude. After a long hiatus from ice hockey in Reno in 1998 — after the professional minor league ice hockey team, Reno Renegade/Reno, folded after three years — the Reno Ice Raiders were primed for success in 2021.

The newly opened Jennifer M. O’Neal Community Ice Arena became the home arena for the Ice Raiders Hockey Club, a full-contact, travel men’s Senior A hockey club playing out of Nevada, California, Texas, Montana, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Colorado. Competing with teams in the Mountain West Hockey League, the Black Diamond Hockey League, and the Great Lakes Hockey League, each game will bring a lot of action to the ice, with the 20-man team showcasing their professional and semi-professional hockey skills.

To learn more about the upcoming hockey season and game schedule, visit the Reno Ice Raiders website.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a sports fan or not; joining in the local sports scene — or, at the very least, a Reno Aces baseball game — is a great way to meet new people and get involved in your community in a fun way.

At Dickson Realty, our team of local experts knows about the best activities and places to live. To learn more about how to enjoy the Northern Nevada region, contact one of our agents today. Go, Pack!