Construction workers continue fighting the Las Vegas heat while putting the finishing touches on City National Arena, the Vegas Golden Knights’ practice facility located on Pavilion Center Drive and Charleston Boulevard.
On the inside, a crisp cool breeze flows through the building. It’s a bit colder than the traditional air conditioning, because the ice where the Golden Knights will skate on when training camp opens Sept. 15 was placed for the first time Wednesday.
“To see the ice on the rink, it’s a big step forward,” said Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland. “I think that first day when we skate with all the boys, when camp starts, it’s going to feel real.”
The ice’s presentation at City National will look the same at T-Mobile Arena, the team’s senior vice president Murray Craven said. The Golden Knights’ logo is front and center, providing some white space on both sides. The ice sponsors are Staples, MGM Resorts, Findlay Automotive and Foley Family Wines, owned by Golden Knights owner Bill Foley.
City National Arena’s logo encompasses the perimeter of the center ice circle.
Engelland, the Las Vegas resident who once played for the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL, said he hasn’t been to many practice rinks, but he said City National might be the nicest he’s seen.
“I’ve been in a few other places that have been older and smaller,” he said, “but it’s top notch here. They didn’t miss anything.”
Craven said the ice was designed for fast surfaces, which falls in line with the state-of-the-art approach of the facility. He added the ice should be “every bit as good” as the ice at T-Mobile.
“We did a lot of things here, as far as efficiency — especially on our power and our consumption of energy — that should help us in the long run,” Craven said. “If you’re building a new facility, you might as well do it right, and we’ve done it right.”
The dog days of summer are upon us in Las Vegas, but cooler days are near now that there is ice in a hockey facility. It means the days count down to hockey season, which means hockey in Las Vegas is soon going to be a reality. In one more month, the Golden Knights will skate on this ice for training camp.
This was just one more landmark event to signify how close the puck is to dropping. All because of ice.