Las Vegas Strip goes dark as a tribute to Jerry Tarkanian

In the past 52 years, the Las Vegas Strip has gone dark to honor the legacies of two U.S. presidents, singers Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, and several other prominent entertainers.

Jerry Tarkanian joined that illustrious list Wednesday night.

Fans hold up signs and pictures in memory of former UNLV head basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Fans hold up signs and pictures in memory of former UNLV head basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Every major Las Vegas Strip casino-hotel and several off-Strip and downtown properties went dark for three minutes at 10:30 p.m in honor of the beloved former UNLV coach. The timing coincided with the end of UNLV's first basketball game since Tarkanian's death, which tipped off Wednesday night at 8 p.m. just down the road from the Strip at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Tarkanian's wife Lois, son Danny and daughter-in-law Amy watched the lights go dark together along with the rest of their family from an undisclosed location above the Strip. Dozens of UNLV fans also gathered on the steps of the Thomas & Mack center to view the rare sight. 

The #DimLights4Tark movement took off last week when two UNLV alums started a social media campaign  on Twitter and Facebook. Media coverage soon followed, leading community and business leaders to step in and help organize the event.

Tarkanian, a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame, led UNLV to four Final Fours and the 1990 national title in two decades coaching the Rebels. A city with no pro sports franchises became a Rebels town during the Tarkanian era as sellouts were the norm at the 19,500-seat Thomas & Mack Center. Las Vegas headliners Sinatra, Bill Cosby and Don Rickles were among the regulars in the courtside seats known as "Gucci Row."

The Las Vegas Strip going dark for Tarkanian was one of several tributes after his funeral earlier this week.

On Tuesday night, five members of UNLV's 1990 national title team got matching tattoos in honor of their beloved coach. On Wednesday night, UNLV held a moving pregame ceremony before its loss to Boise State and handed out Tarkanian's trademark white towels to fans as they arrived. School officials also placed a 1990 Final Four chair next to the coaches on the bench, leaving it empty — just like Tarkanian's trademark "Ghost Chair" always was — except for a pair of white towels.

The thoughtful tributes were fitting for a man who shined a spotlight on Las Vegas. A look at some more pictures and video below:

Ceremonial towels are left on a chair that was part of the UNLV bench during the 1990 Final Four. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ceremonial towels are left on a chair that was part of the UNLV bench during the 1990 Final Four. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!