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November 20, 2018

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City National Arena renovations to include Golden Knights museum

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Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

Fans watch the action during the Vegas Golden Knights practice Friday, April 20, 2018, at City National Arena in Las Vegas.

The Golden Knights’ practice facility is getting a makeover this offseason that will include the addition of a team museum displaying trophies and artifacts from their historic inaugural season.

If you have visited City National Arena recently, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the pungent smell of fresh paint. The formerly gray walls are already coated in black and gold paint to give the facility more of a Golden Knights’ feel, but team president Kerry Bubolz says that’s only the beginning.

The walls will soon be covered with team murals and graphics. Paintings of special moments from the first season will adorn the walls around Summerlin Hospital Rink (where the team practices) and depictions of castles and other knight-themed paintings will cover the walls of Star Nursery Rink.

“We’re thrilled because it’s going to give it such a cool feel,” Bubolz said. “I love the building but it was a little bit sterile with the grey walls. So this just gives it a personality. It’s very consistent with our medieval theme so a lot of what you’ll see fits into that concept.”

On the second floor of the facility, right outside the MacKenzie River Pizza grill and pub, franchise officials plans to build a museum. The space will house trophies, memorabilia and artifacts for fans to explore.

“It will be a true destination place where people can come and visit even when there aren’t any practices or open skates to attend,” Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Brian Killingsworth said. “It will have some of the great artifacts.”

While the museum will take longer to construct, all other aspects of the renovations are expected to be ready by the Vegas Rookie Faceoff, which is an exhibition tournament for the rookies of six NHL teams that will be held Sept. 8-11 at City National Arena.

“It’s going to be a first class operation,” Golden Knights owner Bill Foley said. “We don’t let a lot of people down in the locker room but we made a lot of upgrades there. We wrapped all the walls with graphics and the guys really like it.

“People are going to come in there and say ‘Wow this is Golden Knights country.’”

The $31 million facility was built in haste, breaking ground in October of 2015 and opening for training camp in August of 2017. And while the functionality was completed on deadline, it left little time to perfect the aesthetics prior to opening.

“The walls have been bare because wanted to be respectful of the season, and the traffic that was coming through here with all of the and learn to play and learn to skate events,” Killingsworth said. “We have been mapping everything out and planning for the offseason.”

Killingsworth said that in addition to the paint and graphics on the walls, there will also be castle-like, fabricated elements around the scoreboards to bring the atmosphere closer to that of T-Mobile Arena.

The entrance to “The Arsenal” team store will be reimagined, and floors on the second floor will be marbled black and gold. The team is also extending its corporate office space on the other side of the rink and adding a “viewing perch” for sponsors to watch practice.

Team art director David Lopez created all of the drawings and the renderings, mapping out what the Golden Knights hope is one of the best looking facilities in North America.

“What you’ve seen is really just the first step,” Killingsworth said. “What we’re trying to do is really make this project the best facility in all of sports, in terms of what we offer to fans and players alike.”

The locker room has already received a complete overhaul, and the locker room at T-Mobile Arena will also receive renovations prior to next season.

“We’re spending a fair amount of money,” owner Bill Foley said. “When we showed the players what we were planning some of them didn’t believe we were actually doing it. I told them I want you guys to be proud of where you play.”

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

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