Jose Sandoval first fell in love with Real Madrid during the club’s Galácticos era.
Not only was he in awe of the on-field play and performance of stars like Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Raúl and Roberto Carlos, but Sandoval felt a deeper connection to the club.
“I share some of the values the team represents like fighting until the end, never giving up and always being the best you can be,” Sandoval says. “That caught my attention because they represent what they believe because I always want to be the best of myself. It connected with me and the way I think.
“Having the Galácticos back in the day and seeing Zidane, Roberto Carlos and all the great players at the time, there’s no way you can’t be part of that.”
Despite living in Las Vegas, Sandoval would frequently travel to Los Angeles, especially when he became entrenched with Peña Madridista Los Angeles. Whether it was via a three-hour drive or a 45-minute flight, Sandoval would happily travel from Sin City to the City of Angels to support Real Madrid.
While he downplayed the commute, Sandoval said he and some friends wanted to take the community and camaraderie from the L.A. peña and bring it to their own backyard, and thus, Peña Madridista Las Vegas was formed in 2022.
“We want to keep the same environment and do the same great things they’re doing there here in Vegas,” Sandoval says. “We want to share that with other people. We welcome everybody to come and enjoy it with us.
“We want to keep growing in Vegas. I know there’s a lot of Madridistas who don’t know we’re there.”
Peña Madridista Las Vegas meets at a few restaurants and bars, including its two main locations: Tom’s Watch on Las Vegas Blvd. and Shakespeare’s Grille & Pub in nearby Henderson, Nevada.
Sandoval says their goal is to create a family-friendly environment for all Madridistas to come to. Fans and peña members frequently bring their children for watch parties, including the 20 kids who watched Real Madrid hoist the 2023 Copa del Rey on May 6. Sandoval’s 11-year-old son is also a diehard Real fan.
“We’re always looking to have a family environment with every event we do because we all have kids, so we’re making sure our kids are following and learning what Real Madrid is about,” he says.
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