Game 1 was an all-day, Vegas-style party

Brian Tinsman
May 29, 2018 - 12:16 am
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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Give Las Vegas credit: they might be new to hockey, but they know how to throw a party and Game 1 was just the first example.

The day started early for many fans, as the AP reports that as many as 20 fans were in line for free entry to practice at 5:30 a.m. Practice, of course, did not take place until 9:15 a.m. in the suburbs of Las Vegas.

After the sun rose, temperatures soared to 94 degrees in the desert, but did little to wilt the enthusiasm of the Vegas-friendly crowd. Fans filled the plaza outside T-Mobile Arena in the early afternoon, as the area surrounding the stadium became the epicenter of everything Vegas. Performers. Showgirls. Cosplay. Furries. Sasquatch. The usual.

It was followed by a pre-game concert that featured Travis Barker, Lil John, and other pop stars from the early 2000s. Hey, what happens in the rest of the world sometimes stays in Vegas.

From there, the party turned inward, with a pregame lights, laser, music and Game of Thrones-esque performance that drew comparisons across social media to Game of Thrones, Medieval Times, Renaissance festivals, etc. The theme of the show was good vs. evil and the vanquishing of marauding Capitals invaders:

It was interesting. And it lasted a long time.

The transition back to hockey was a bit jarring for TV viewers, but was probably nice for the players waiting for introductions and the National Anthem. Naturally, Michael Buffer introduced both teams' starting lineups. During the Anthem, there was both an audible "Knights" echo during the Anthem, as well as a D.C.-Baltimore "Oh!" shout during the appropriate line.

Once the puck dropped, the energy within T-Mobile Arena was perhaps matched only by the army of fans who stayed in the plaza to watch the game on big screens. The celebrations when the Golden Knights scored were truly something to behold, for a city that isn't known for loyalty or locals.

After all of that, a hockey game was actually played, and unfortunately for the Capitals, it played out in favor of the hometown crowd.

Every moment had the type of over-the-top pageantry you've come to expect from Sin City. But it was also a cool backdrop for Game 1 of hockey on its biggest stage.

 

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