When Las Vegas got its first major professional sports franchise—the Vegas Golden Knights NFL hockey team—it brought more than just hockey to Sin City. Fitting for the entertainment capital of the world, the team has a pregame show like no other.
In its first season, the 2017-2018 hockey season, the Vegas Golden Knights showed Las Vegas they were more than just a hockey team—they are entertainment gold. What more would you expect than an intro with Vegas show-quality production.
The T-Mobile Arena goes dark, and the cheering starts—fans know that what is coming next is truly spectacular. A voice fills the stadium, telling the tale of the season in the style of a fairytale narrator telling the tale of King Arthur, fitting for a team called the Golden Knights. A light show on the ice creates a visual spectacle to illustrate the story being told. A skater enters the ring, waving a banner fitting of a Medieval sporting event, and the Golden Knight takes the ice, brandishing his sword and shield. The two battle, and, fittingly, the Knight overpowers the other skater. Smoke fills the ring, and drummers begin to ominously beat their instruments, building to a crescendo as the fans cheer them on. Finally, the Knights take the ice to a rapt audience.
If that weren’t enough, it seems like they’re stepping up the entertainment value with every game. The vibe at the games is electric—everyone gets into it, and things get loud as fans cheer for the entertainers and the team.
The team has had one of the strongest debut seasons in the history of American professional sports, breaking the record for the most wins by an expansion team on February 1, 2018, when they won 3-2 against the Winnipeg Jets, their 34th win of the season. On March 31, the Golden Knights became the first of the modern-era expansion teams in any of the four major professional sports to win their division in the first season. Such a feat has not been accomplished in the NHL since the New York Rangers won their division in their first season, the 1926-1927 season.
There has been no better way for a new franchise to begin its tradition than with a hugely successful inaugural season, both in terms of winning and fan support. For the playoffs in Las Vegas, the Knights fans will take over the stadium, and the show will, undoubtedly, be over-the-top.
Vegas will be getting another professional sports team in the 2020 NFL season, when the Oakland Raiders move from their long-time home in California to Sin City. With the success of the Knights, the Las Vegas Raiders will have a lot to live up to. The Las Vegas Raiders have begun construction on a $1.8 billion, 62-acre stadium they will call home in 2020. As more professional sports teams begin to call Las Vegas home, the city is proving that it is more than just gambling, casinos, concerts, shows, and nightclubs.