The Las Vegas Golden Knights have officially been named as the first new team for the NHL’s expansion. Choosing Las Vegas has been a subject that a lot in the hockey community have questioned. The city isn’t known for sports, but this could be a way of expanding the sport to the southwest that actually works out.
There are definitely a few reason why Las Vegas was the right place to start. The recent trend of sports teams moving to Las Vegas is certainly a point of good news for The Golden Knights. Recently, the Oakland Raiders have announced that they’ll be relocating to Las Vegas and could be playing there as early as 2019. This influx of sports can help in two different ways. For starters, Las Vegas is a huge spot for people who like to gamble. By placing another team in the city, it’ll help money funnel into the city itself. The other way is that tourists love to watch sports. The location of the arena is right on the Vegas Strip. People who visit the city can tack a hockey game onto their vacation to-do list.
But, will hockey succeed there? Arizona isn’t exactly known for their hockey teams. The team had moved from Winnipeg to Phoenix in 1996 and changed from the Winnipeg Jets to the Phoenix Coyotes. In 2014, the Phoenix Coyotes became the Arizona Coyotes after filing for bankruptcy in 2009. This could be a warning sign to the team owner and the league. Another factor that can hurt the team would be the weather. We all know just how the outside heat can affect ice and cause the puck to bounce. Are the arena and the team well-prepared for that to happen? If not, fans aren’t going to stay for a game or want to purchase a ticket in the first place. Tourists aren’t going to waste their money on something that doesn’t get good reviews either. The biggest problem the team is going to have is how to gain a consistent fanbase.
The Golden Knights are set to play in the upcoming 2017-18 NHL season. Once their inaugural season is over, both the fans and the league will be able to tell whether or not the location was the right spot. Whether you agree with the expansion or not, I think one thing we can all agree on is the name choice. The Golden Knights? Really? Of all the names they could’ve gone with, they may have picked the cheesiest one.