Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 | 2 a.m.
Before their first face-off, the Vegas Golden Knights are having an economic impact as Southern Nevada’s first major league team.
Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz said this week that the NHL’s newest franchise employs 170 full-time employees, 70 percent of whom relocated to the Las Vegas Valley from other areas.
Including players, scouts, front office personnel and the business team, employees will have a combined annual payroll of $100 million, said Bubolz, speaking at the third annual Nevada Economic Development Conference this week.
“We have a business team of 60-70 people who focus on the business side, and we’ve got people from Tampa (Fla.), Cleveland, from all over the country who moved here to be a part of this special opportunity,” Bubolz said. “We have to provide them temporary housing, and they’re buying new houses, they’re putting their kids into our schools and it is all coming together.”
For 44 home games (including the preseason) at T-Mobile Arena, there will also be about 1,000-part-time employees on staff.
“All of this is economic impact,” he said, noting local ticket sales as well.
“Close to 90 percent of every ticket that we’ve sold is actually from Nevada,” he said. “It’s not to mean that we’re not going draw fans from … some of these other great NHL cities to come in and see their team, but the vast majority will be local.”
With Las Vegas being known as the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” Bubolz envisions the city morphing into the the “Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World.”
“The reputation of the Entertainment Capital is already out there. But (look at) the sports that are already here … the UFC, boxing, the collegiate sports and the two NASCAR races. You add the NFL and NHL and before you know it, you notice there is a lot here,” he said. “You can start to hang your hat on sports and not just entertainment.”
Having open practices at City National Arena in Summerlin helps develop the Golden Knights’ relationship with residents, Bubolz said.
“I know how important it is; I have already witnessed it,” he said. “I stand with families at practices and watch the kids literally light up and say ‘wow’ at how fast these guys are, how big they are. It’s awesome.”