Desert Gold - Episode 3
The third episode of NBCSN’s Desert Gold series aired Monday and shed light on what goes into the entertainment experience at Golden Knights home games. Owner Bill Foley and Vice President of Entertainment Production Jonny Greco discuss the initial concepts of entertainment at T-Mobile Arena and the inspiration the team received from the city of Las Vegas to create a product that keeps fans engaged for each moment they spend at The Fortress.
Before the inaugural season began, the organization wanted to capitalize on the resources in Las Vegas that make it the entertainment capital of the world. Whether the first season of Golden Knights hockey would be a success on the ice or not, the entertainment team was going to go all out to make the experience of going to a Vegas Golden Knights game memorable.
The history of entertainment in Las Vegas inspires acts and shows all around the city. As new entertainers come to the city to perform, the city adapts to and capitalizes on those opportunities to give audiences a spectacle like none other. For the Golden Knights, integrating into the entertainment scene in the city was a major focus and the team has created a show of its own that no other professional sports team can replicate.
Part of the entertainment team is Lee Orchard, better known as the Golden Knight himself. Orchard can be seen at games and around the city sporting his golden armor and getting fans excited about the Vegas Golden Knights. The armor he wears was made from scratch and celebrates the team’s identity while also showing unity with the city of Las Vegas. Orchard’s armor has 58 stars etched into it to honor the 58 victims from October 1, 2017.
Aside from Orchard’s presence in the arena, fans can find details that Greco has created that add to the entertainment experience anywhere they look. The team skates through a 20-foot helmet to take the ice. A similar helmet looms above a castle structure in the building where Chance the Gila Monster and the Golden Aces promotional team get fans on their feet. The Knight Line bangs on their drums to lead chants and provide sounds that are unique to The Fortress. The Vegas Belles are a nod to the iconic Vegas Showgirl and their presence at T-Mobile Arena provide one-of-a-kind photo opportunities for fans while simultaneously serving as a distraction to the visiting team during warmups.
All of the pieces to the entertainment puzzle join together before each game to march through the area around T-Mobile Arena and cheer with fans ahead of the start of the game. Greco and his team do all that they do to create an atmosphere that represents the city of Las Vegas and its fans to power the Golden Knights to victory each time they take their home ice. Everything is about home ice advantage and no team has that advantage quite like the Vegas Golden Knights.
The last episode of Desert Gold will air on December 21st on NBC Sports.