Hockey Franchise A Huge Success As A New Form Of LV Entertainment
Who would have ever figure that Las Vegas would have hockey fever?
But it’s happened.
As the first top-tier professional sports team in Sin City, the Las Vegas Golden Knights have been a huge success, selling out games, having locals walk around in those oversized team hockey jerseys and making the T-Mobile arena the place to be on game nights.
PubClub.com had “boots on the ground” for the first game of the NHL Playoffs against the LA Kings.
The support from the team has stunned many, including Bill Foley, the mega-bucks owner of the team.
“It threw us off,” Foley told Sports Illustrated (yes, SI did a story on hockey in Las Vegas and what does that tell you about how well the team is doing with the residents!?). “But in a way I believe it brought the city of Las Vegas into us. We became part of the city of Las Vegas and the city of Las Vegas became a part of us.
“Now we’re part of the environment.”
In a way it’s easy to understand. While Vegas has just about every form of entertainment one can think of – and people are always thinking of more ways to entertain people – up until the Golden Knights it had no sports teams.
Oh sure, there’s the 51s minor league baseball team and the Las Vegas Rebels basketball team. But the Rebels haven’t been running since Jerry Tarkanian was hottubbing with bikini girls.
The Golden Knights were the right team at the right place and have done what seemed impossible: make hockey fans out of people in the desert.
And on the horizon is the NFL when the Raiders move to Las Vegas. Some die-hard Raiders fans who hate it that the team is leaving Oakland but one told me he would go to the games “because they are the Raiders!”