[toc]The first major professional sports team in Nevada recently struck a partnership with a Downtown Las Vegas casino.
In fact, the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Vegas Golden Knights and The D Las Vegas inked a six-year downtown sponsorship deal last week. The deal makes The D the new NHL hockey club’s official Downtown Las Vegas casino partner.
What exactly that entails remains to be seen. However, the two groups promise it will involve a number of activities and events at the Nevada casino. The Golden Knights kick off their inaugural NHL season this fall.
Vegas Golden Knights events and activities
The events and activities at The D will include:
- An annual Fan Fest in the offseason
- Special watch parties for every Vegas Golden Knights game
- Player appearances at The D
- An official merchandise pop-up shop on the property
City and NHL officials excited for hockey season
The team and the casino revealed some of the details during a press conference at the Fremont Street Experience last week. The event featured D Las Vegas CEO Derek Stevens, Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz and Coach Gerard Gallant.
Stevens said he is hoping the Vegas Golden Knights will have an impact on youth hockey.
“Coming from Detroit, which is a true hockey town, I’ve had the opportunity to see how Mike Ilitch with Little Caesars Arena, and Pete Karmanos with Compuware AAA Hockey, have impacted the community and youth sports. I am hoping to bring the same spirit to Las Vegas.”
Good news for the team and its city
Mayor Goodman stood behind the push to bring hockey to Las Vegas. Plus, she believes this partnership will be good for the city, the casino and Las Vegas’ new NHL franchise:
“There have been many investors in my time in Las Vegas, but there has never been anyone quite like Derek Stevens. Every time he commits to doing something, he does it quickly and wholeheartedly. His six-year agreement with the Vegas Golden Knights is such an honor for this community, and we’re so thrilled to have the team in our city.”
Bubolz said he’s looking at Downtown Las Vegas as a place where the Vegas Golden Knights fan base can build.
“We’re very excited for this partnership with Derek and the D Las Vegas,” he said. “Every time I hear him speak about Downtown Las Vegas, I get more and more excited about working with this part of the city.”
Vegas’ first major professional sports team
The NHL awarded the Vegas Golden Knights ownership group the expansion franchise last June. It became the first major professional sports league to launch a team in Las Vegas. The team will begin play in the 2017–18 NHL season at the T-Mobile Arena on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.
The Vegas Golden Knights roster is expected to be filled via free agency as well as an expansion draft. As a matter of fact, the draft will be held in Las Vegas this week. Accordingly, the team will play its inaugural season as a part of the league’s Pacific Division in the Western Conference.
The D in Downtown Las Vegas
The D is a 629-room hotel and casino on the eastern end of the Fremont Street Experience. It also boasts a 42,000-square-foot casino with more than 1,000 slot machines and 22 table games over two gaming floors. It also plays host to the William Hill Sports Book.
In fact, the D was the Sundance Hotel from 1980 to 1987, and Fitzgeralds Hotel and Casino from 1987 to 2012. After becoming the D, the property underwent a massive $22 million property-wide renovation.
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