If you grew up in this city of lights that we call home, you know that we all secretly longed to be just a little like other cities. We wanted professional sports games to go to, (and support). We wanted a sense of community. We wanted apparel to buy and room to talk shit on other teams because let’s face it, UNLV alone wasn’t cutting it. And whether or not you were a hockey fan to begin with, we can guarantee that the Vegas Golden Knights have made your life better in one way or another.
Here are the 10 ways our beloved Golden Misfits made Las Vegas a better place to live:
1. They made us #VegasStrong after Route 91.
This grief-stricken moment in our history marked an important day for our city, but most importantly for our team. Shortly after the start of their season, the Knights were faced with a situation in which their reaction to October 1st meant everything. In a time of such tragedy, it’s inevitably difficult to go on and play a game just days after, and in a sense, we needed them just as much as they needed us. The Knights held the city together by paying tribute to the families that lost loved ones, and those affected and wounded by Route 91. They honored the victims at every home game, were genuine and sincere, and showed us that within the most heart wrenching moments, humanity and hope is strengthened.
2. They gave Las Vegas a sense of community.
The Golden Knights gave Las Vegas something to root for. A reason to wear black and gold. Something to talk about and get us excited. Just like we all love the holidays because they bring us together, the Knights did just that for our city, and we will be forever grateful. Watching bars and restaurants get packed hours before game time and hearing the roaring screams after every play, confirmed that we were finally becoming that city I grew up wishing about. And not to mention the support our local bars and restaurants have consistently contributed since day one.
3. They got us national attention in their first season.
Holding this type of title comes with a lot of pressure, but that didn’t get to these guys. In their inaugural season, they obtained the highest wins by an expansion team, became the first inaugural team to make the playoffs in their first season (since 1979), proceeded to be the first inaugural team to win their division since 1926, and most importantly made it to the Stanley Cup; it’s safe to say they hit a lot of firsts and put Vegas on the map while doing it. They gave the world yet another reason to travel to our city.
4. Vegas locals will never forget the first VGK season.
It’s undeniable that the dynamic of this team was unreal, and they were unstoppable. They instilled a sense of pride in their city’s fans and supporting them has been such a ride since day one. Many of the players traveled across the world to be a part of this team and as we know, they really went down in history. I even see Golden Knights supporters from other cities (we see you band-wagoners) but hey we don’t blame you, I mean who wouldn’t want to be us?
5. Vegas Golden Knights Jr.
As some of you may not know, the Nevada Storm and the Vegas Golden Knights have partnered up and created the Vegas Jr. Golden Knights, a youth hockey travel league. This league inspires young children to get into hockey, and develop the sport in Nevada. On top of developing vital teamwork skills, giving children this opportunity is priceless and gives Las Vegas a whole new feel.
6. The team is heavily involved in non-profit efforts to make our community a better place to live.
The Knights began The Vegas Golden Knights Foundation in order to connect with their community and give back. In 2017, they raised over $775,000 for The Folded Flag Foundation which is an organization dedicated to military members and their families. The Knights hold the 51/49 raffle where 51% goes to one lucky winner and the net proceeds of the raffle and the pre-season games goes to the Injured Police Officers Fund. From partnering with non-profit charities around the city to raise money, hosting golf tournaments to raise money, and starting Sticks For Kids, to say this team is involved would be an understatement.
7. Money, Money, Money
Since the Golden Knights came to Las Vegas, the city is booming with revenue. Their inaugural season ticket sales alone brought $65.1 million in revenue and billions of additional dollars from sponsor contracts, parking, betting, Ubers and countless other ways. Just from filling up bars and restaurants every game day, the Knights bring a consistent flow of income to our city.
8. They made our city grow.
With Las Vegas’ population growing by the minute and the market sky rocketing day by day, the Knights have raised an interest in the Las Vegas area. Clark County’s population has reached 2.25 million and hundreds of thousands of people moved to Las Vegas in 2018 from California alone. With the Raiders coming in this year too, Las Vegas is growing faster than you can imagine, and it’s safe to assume the Knights contributed to these numbers.
9. They made T-Mobile Arena their home
An arena home to the Billboard Awards and most often a concert hall, was never expected to be the home stadium of our city. Bringing more to the strip than just touristic venues, the T-Mobile Arena and Park MGM became the new home for locals, especially during the season.
10. They made us a real city.
Las Vegas, two words that often trigger thoughts of slot machines and night life, has changed since the Knights came to town. A sport mostly popular on the east coast, has caught people’s attention from all over, proving that we are more than just a place full of party animals. Having a sports team in your city means so much more than it sounds. It means finally having professional sports apparel at the airport rather than the usual & overplayed sin city t-shirts. The Las Vegas Golden Knights made the city proud, and gave tourists a new reason to visit. We’re not all about bachelorette parties and fraternity weekenders after all.
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