Las Vegas Sun

August 22, 2019

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Golden Knights deployed sales strategy to give locals best shot at single-game tickets

Team’s marketing director promises wrinkles ‘you won’t see anywhere else’ on game day

Golden Knights First Practice

L.E. Baskow

The Golden Knights goalie Logan Thompson (35) eyes a shot by Alex Tuch (54) during their first on ice practice during their inaugural Development Camp at the Las Vegas Ice Center on Tuesday, June 27, 2017.

The Golden Knights implemented blockades in an attempt to prevent opposing fans from invading T-Mobile Arena when single-game tickets went on sale earlier this week.

Sales started at 10 a.m. on Monday, with only season-ticket holders initially eligible to purchase extra seats. At Noon, tickets were opened to all residents of Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana —states within the team’s television broadcast distribution territory .

It wasn’t until 2 p.m. that fans outside those states could purchase tickets.

“We don’t want fans to miss out on the opportunity to see their home team play,” said Brian Killingsworth, the Golden Knights’ newly hired chief marketing officer. “Fans want to defend their home ice. We are all in this together and we are all defending and going into battle.”

That’s not an easy task with a city like Las Vegas, where opposing fans will be eager to visit.

Season-ticket holders, who pay a fraction of the full-price single-game ticket, might want to recoup some of their investment by selling on certain games. They may be tempted as soon as the first game, with prices exorbitantly high.

Tickets from the Oct. 10 home opener against the Arizona Coyotes range from $159 to $3,958 face value with the cheapest seat in the lower bowl going for $264.

Other marquee games will follow the lofty prices.

The cheapest ticket for the Oct. 13 faceoff with the Red Wings is $110, compared to only $54 when the Golden Knights go back and visit Detroit on March 8, 2018. Against the Blackhawks on Oct. 24, the cheapest lower bowl ticket is $200.

Season-ticket holders could conceivably sell their tickets to a handful of the most anticipated games, and go to the rest of the home games for free.

It’s not a problem unique to Las Vegas, but one that’s amplified because of the tourism industry.

“The dynamics of the city are such that we are going to get visiting team fans,” Killingsworth said. “We aren’t trying to shy away from that, but we want local fans to have the first opportunities We have to trust that we are going to put a product on the ice that people that live in Las Vegas want to see on a nightly basis.”

With an expansion team that will likely struggle to win games early on, the Golden Knights plan on entertaining fans with much more than just hockey.

“You’re going to see stuff at T-Mobile Arena with the Golden Knights that you won’t see anywhere else,” Killingsworth said. “You’ll be blown away. It’s going to be the event to be at and that’s what makes it exciting. It will be from start to finish, with entertainment in and around the arena when there’s stoppage in play.”

One example involves a local staple – Cirque du Soleil performances.

The team signed a 3-year agreement with the company in March, and will have four designated “Cirque du Soleil nights” with shows during intermissions.

Other unique in-arena entertainment such as an atomic bomb siren instead of a traditional goal horn, a giant knight helmet during player intros and a live DJ have been rumored but not confirmed by the team.

Ticket prices drop as the season goes on.

While the cheapest ticket at T-Mobile Arena is $84.85 on average in October, it drops to $53.75 on average in November and $51.11 in March. Tickets can sometimes be found even cheaper on secondhand sites, but those prices have gone up dramatically since single-game tickets went on sale Monday.

The Golden Knights have given their best effort to keep T-Mobile Arena full of fans of the home team, but plenty of opposing fan bases will find their way into the building.

Jesse Granger can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Jesse on Twitter at twitter.com/JesseGranger_.

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