See you on the 11th and 13th! (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)
Now that they’ve got the little “x” next to their name and have clinched not only a playoff berth but also home-ice advantage in the first round we can start talking about home playoff games at T-Mobile Arena.
The NHL calendar declares this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin on April 11th, but there’s never a guarantee when each team that’s qualified will play their first game.
However, if you check out the calendar for T-Mobile Arena, the home of the Golden Knights, you’ll notice, the NHL is painted into a corner. Sucks for them, great for us.
Justin Timberlake is set to perform on back-to-back nights at T-Mobile, meaning the building will be unavailable for hockey on April 14th and 15th. Once again, the NHL playoffs begin on April 11th.
Not sure there’s a bigger difference between two NHL cities, arenas, and fan bases than Montreal and Vegas. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)
Imagine that place in the playoffs. It would be crazy. -Max Pacioretty, Montreal Captain
The Montreal Canadiens made their first ever visit to T-Mobile Arena, and received the full Las Vegas experience, including the butt-kicking. The in-arena entertainment was alive, Vegas fans created a wild atmosphere, and Montreal was clobbered by the Golden Knights. Sounds like a normal trip for most visiting teams.
“It was the coolest road game I’ve ever played. It was unbelievable. It was top notch. Couldn’t ask for better music, better atmosphere, better fans.”- Max Pacioretty, MTL Captain
It almost sounds like Pacioretty would consider trading in his red sweater for a suit of gold armor.
Everyone around the league that I’ve talked to that has already played here said the same thing and I just said, ‘oh yeah that’s great,’ but when you experience it for yourself, that was a treat to play and I wish we played them more than once a year. They do such a good job with the entertainment in this building. It was really a lot of fun except for the result. -Pacioretty
Yeah that’s one of the better atmospheres I’ve ever been involved in. It’s obviously a pretty sick place to play. -Jordie Benn, Montreal Defenseman
It’s a story that’s been told a thousand times over; how the atmosphere at T-Mobile Arena for Golden Knights games surprises even veteran players in the NHL. Recently though the story has almost become worn out as the same comments, same examples, and same quotes from players, coaches, and fans are muttered after each and every game.
Alex Ovechkin to the rescue.
It’s not a regular rink. It’s kind of like an unbelievable show, you get excited. It’s like you’re in a nightclub. It’s like a party. Everybody dancing over there. It’s like, ‘Holy Jesus, are we in a hockey game or is this like a pool party out there?’ They’re very, very tough to play against. They jump in right away. They have tremendous skill and tremendous speed. When you’re not ready, you’re going to be in a tough position. -Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
The timing of the “Holy Jesus” quote was fortunate for me as it came just days before I was set to travel to Washington DC to experience the difference Ovechkin was talking about myself.
Haven’t seen anything quite like the castle anywhere else either. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)
Let’s start with the very first difference, specifically for fans. Getting to the T-Mobile Arena and walking through The Park is unmatched. DC’s set up actually is pretty nice as a train station arrives right on the corner of the arena, there’s a lobby where people were held before the gates open to escape the rain, and there’s a full sports bar attached to the arena itself. It’s nice, but it’s not Vegas.
Then you go into the arena. The first time at a hockey game where the in-arena experience really begins is with the player warm-ups. In Vegas, they count it down, demand the fans get up and cheer, then play John Wick Mode followed by a club-style music mix that’s so loud it’s challenging to talk to the person in the seat directly beside you. Contrast that to Capital One Arena, where the lights are darkened, a minor light show occurs, the players take the ice and the music is softer than I listen to in my car. The same was the case in Anaheim and Dallas. Los Angeles may have actually outdone Vegas with this light show.
I’m shocked, SHOCKED, none of the players talked about this when comparing atmospheres. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)
After each game opponents consistently praise the Golden Knights, the arena, and you, the fans. Last night we thought we were dealing with a different animal though. Nashville was the darling of the NHL a year ago, and the atmosphere in and around Bridgestone Arena has been described as second to none. Neither Ken nor I have been there so we left it in the hands of those who have, and we were quite surprised by the answers.
Oh, I think ours is way better. The atmosphere today was incredible, when we score the first goal the crowd gets into it. Even when we don’t the media (game ops) people do an incredible job of getting people involved in the game and it’s been really unbelievable. It’s been a big part of our success. -Alex Tuch
It’s very similar. The crowds, the way they are reacting, they are standing and yelling. It’s really fun to play in front of. -Shea Theodore
It was a really cool experience being there last year. It’s a lot like that here. -Brad Hunt (was a healthy scratch for the Predators throughout the entire playoff run last year)
Ok, fine, we weren’t surprised by those answers. But these…
These people are why Vegas is so good at home. These exact people. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)
The Winnipeg Jets came into Las Vegas having earned a point in each of their previous eight games. That stretch ended abruptly when they faced a team on a streak of their own. After last night’s 5-2 Golden Knights victory, Vegas has now won six straight games at T-Mobile Arena, something the Jets were aware of coming in.
They were everything that we expected. Our preparation before the game showed that hockey team. You know I said how once you get out there, we just couldn’t get out of our zone. –Blake Wheeler, Jets Captain
The Captain didn’t seem upset or frustrated, if anything, he was more impressed with the team he faced.
I think just the way they play, their forecheck is really tough to break. They are great at getting above the puck. There just wasn’t a whole lot of space to make plays. You have got to give them a lot of credit, we made a lot of mistakes that cost us, gave them a little bit too much space. They really capitalize on their looks and you have to give them credit. They played a good hockey game tonight. -Wheeler
Wheeler expected a strong effort from Vegas but wasn’t stunned by the loss. Looking forward, expect Winnipeg to be even more prepared for the Golden Knights.
Well, can’t say we weren’t prepared for that. Opposing team’s “mascot” skates out, tries to pull the sword from the stone, and can’t do it. Then the Golden Knight appears to pull the sword out, the arena lights up, and the crowd goes wild.
Oh, about that last part. Yeah, well, nevermind.
It was exactly what The Creator has been saying it would be for the better part of three years, and the Golden Knights gameday staff did as much as they possibly could with it to make it as not-awful as physically possible.
The options were endless. Go with a classic like Viva Las Vegas. Go with an artist from the city like Imagine Dragons or The Killers. Or go completely off script and pick an amazing party song like Danza Kaduro.
Though it was nearly impossible to hear over the euphoric cheers for the sold out crowd at T-Mobile Arena, the Golden Knights unveiled their goal song last night, and it’s a winner.
It’s Vegas Lights by Summerlin natives Panic! At The Disco.
The chorus is the part the team plays where it almost sounds like they are saying Vegas Knights.
The Vegas lights Where villains spend the weekend The deep end We’re swimming with the sharks until we drown The Vegas lights The lies and affectations Sensation We’re winning ’til the curtain’s coming down
They are going to need to crank the volume up from about a 4 to a 10 in the arena, but listening to the song, it’s definitely a great goal song.
Next step, get Brendon Urie and the rest of the band at a game to preform it live. Hopefully Friday.
Tonight marks the first time the Golden Knights will play a game at T-Mobile Arena on the Vegas Strip. So, to help you from wanting to hurt someone before you get into the arena, we’re here with a transportation and parking FAQ to answer all your questions and take the guesswork out of getting to the game.
What are the official parking options with the Golden Knights?
Parking is available at the garages at New York New York, Aria, Excalibur, and MGM Grand. If you purchase a parking pass prior to the game, the price is $20 (NYNY/Aria) or $15 (Excalibur/MGM). If you wait until the day of the game, parking is unavailable at NYNY and Aria, and it’s $25 at Excalibur and $20 at MGM Grand. To purchase parking prior to a game go here.
Where are these garages?
The NYNY and MGM Grand garages are the standard ones always used for the casino. The Aria garage is located directly off Frank Sinatra Boulevard (it is NOT the same garage as the one with the entrance on Las Vegas Boulevard). The Excalibur garage is the new one just south of Tropicana Avenue. Click this for a map.
The controversial “bathroom bill” in the Texas Legislature has a chance to cross over into the world of the NHL if passed later this month. The bill, which requires people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificate in schools and public buildings, is viewed by many as homophobic and discriminatory.
In the event it’s passed into law, the NHL could decide to pull the 2018 Entry Draft from American Airlines Arena in Dallas.
We strongly oppose the bill in its original form. We hope and expect that bill in that form will not be passed into law. We would obviously have to reassess the situation in the event that happens. –Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner
If the bill is passed, and the NHL Draft is forced out of Dallas, Vegas would likely be a leading candidate as its replacement.
Every year for the past nine years the NHL has held the annual Awards show in Vegas, including this past year which coincided with the Expansion Draft. That event usually occurs two days prior to the first round of the Entry Draft.
This is complete speculation, but Vegas makes perfect sense not just as a replacement for the NHL Draft in the event it needs to be pulled from Dallas this year, but for every year in the future. Having the two events back to back in the same location will increase coverage nationally and internationally of both events and likely bring in more revenue. Plus, there’s simply no easier place to hold an event like the draft than Vegas when it comes to lodging, transportation, and logistics.
I’m not saying it’s going to happen this year, in fact, I’m rooting against it, cause that bathroom bill is a joke, but eventually, the NHL Draft is going to come to Vegas, and when it does, it’s never going to leave.
The Golden Knights have opened up their home as part of a 24-hour open house at T-Mobile Arena from 8AM this morning to 8AM tomorrow. I wrote this post last week explaining the whole thing, and I don’t really feel like explaining it again, so instead here’s a bunch of pictures and my thoughts on the event.
Early returns on attendance have been pretty strong. For the first few hours there’s been somewhere between 500-1000 people in the building at any point and there’s been a steady line the entire time at the “ticket information” table.
The ice is NOT laid despite what my friend from Channel 8 thinks who told me he expected the ice to be much more white. #NailedIt
They have a blow-up castle type thing to shoot pucks in, cornhole/beanbag games decked out with Golden Knights logos, both goals are in place, they have VGK Jenga (seriously, there’s a picture below), and the head equipment manager has sticks, helmets, and pads to try on.
There are white pieces of paper on seats throughout the arena which have information on season tickets for that seat. By rough count, there are probably about 100 of those.
Split season ticket information is available for the first time on 11-game and 22-game packages. The price list is in a picture below.
They weren’t kidding, they are literally giving away two seats to the home opener once an hour. You do not have to be present to win.
A very loud gong is hit every time someone purchases tickets.
Behind The Vegas Ice episodes are being played on the jumbotron. You better believe I filmed “the scene” on the big screen.
Attendance picked up significantly through the early night. I’m guessing about 1500 or so as a max in the building at one time.
They turned on the Blackhawks/Wild game on the big screen, with sound. I also heard that Duluth Trading Company underwear commercial about eight times on the T-Mobile sound system. Lucky them.
I was in the arena all the way from about 10PM until 4AM. There were people on the floor playing the games throughout the entire time. Most were recently off the late shift at the casinos or restaurants. However there were a bundle of people who were here earlier in the day and came back cause they thought it would be fun.
Multiple tickets were sold between the hours of midnight and 5AM.
I’m not going to make it the whole 24 hours. I arrived at 7AM on Tuesday and I will be leaving the arena at 6:30 AM on Wednesday. 23 and half ain’t too bad.
All in all, this should be viewed as a highly successful event, and I’ll have much more on it tomorrow about what we learned. At least 8,000 people were through the building during the 24 hours and the final number is likely to be pushing 9,000. Pretty darn good to come in and see a building that’s been open for 10 months.