AFP New York
The National Hockey League’s newest club was unveiled Tuesday as the Vegas Golden Knights by majority owner Bill Foley with colours and logo to match the nickname.
Five months after NHL owners sold Foley’s group an expansion franchise for $500 mn, the 31st NHL team began to take shape with a logo of a knight’s helmet in front of a shield with a V-shaped front opening and colours of gold, back, red and steel grey.
The Golden Knights will begin play in the 2017-18 season in a new arena that will seat 17,500 for hockey and 20,000 for basketball.
The unveiling of the first major pro team in the US casino capital took place outside the new $375mn arena.
“We want our team to be known for dedication, honor, strength, courage and a commitment to never give up — both on the ice and off,” Foley said.
“We wanted a name and logo that represented all of this and was unique to Las Vegas and our community. Vegas Golden Knights is that name. We selected ‘Knights’ because knights are the defenders of the realm and protect those who cannot defend themselves. They are the elite warrior class.”
It’s also wordplay on the possible jackpots from the neon-lit Vegas Strip casinos that help lure 45mn tourists a year to the Nevada desert city of 2.1mn people.
Foley says grey represents strength and durability while Nevada is the largest US gold producing state, red is from the natural colouring found in nearby desert and canyons and black represents power and intensity.
A secondary logo features swords that create the star from the iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.
“The Vegas Golden Knights team name and logo embody this great city and the mission of our team,” Foley said. “When people see it, we want them to say ‘These guys never give up. These guys are going to win.’”
The Golden Knights are the first NHL expansion team since the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild joined in 2000.
Las Vegas had been shunned by major sports leagues, with concerns about the integrity of results and links to legalized betting, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear the league welcomes it’s newest club even as it prepares to celebrate its centennial year. “Las Vegas, welcome to the NHL,” Bettman said. “We are thrilled to be here.”
The Golden Knights will be the eighth team in the Pacific Division and 15th in the Western Conference, giving it only one fewer than the Eastern.
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