T-Mobile Arena during the venue's grand opening celebration (Ethan Miller/Getty Images for MGM Resorts International)
The Los Angeles Kings will be hosting two pre-season games at Las Vegas’ brand new T-Mobile Arena, which would be the home of the Las Vegas expansion franchise should the city be awarded a team. The Kings will “host” the Stars on Oct. 8 and Avalance on Oct. 9.
The NHL has yet to formally decide whether or not Las Vegas will be awarded an expansion team, but the city is going to see two pre-season NHL games next season regardless of the league’s decision on expansion.
The Los Angeles Kings announced Thursday they will be having two of their home games during the pre-season at Las Vegas’ brand new T-Mobile Arena, which would be the future home of the potential expansion team in Las Vegas. One of the contests will be the annual Frozen Fury contest, which is a pre-season game between the Kings and Colorado Avalanche that is held each year in Las Vegas.
“We are excited to be featured in one of the very first sporting events at the new T-Mobile Arena and we look forward to creating new Frozen Fury memories there,” Kings' president of business operations Luc Robitaille said. “The atmosphere at Frozen Fury is always one of the highlights of our exhibition game schedule and we believe we can take this to a ‘next level’ in this new environment.”
In addition to the annual tilt with the Avalanche, which is scheduled for Oct. 8, the Kings will also play host to the Dallas Stars the day prior. This will be the first Frozen Fury event since 1998 in which two games have been played, and the Kings planned that in part to celebrate the franchise’s 50th anniversary.
Past Frozen Fury games were held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and the Kings have sold out the pre-season tilts in each of the past five seasons. The T-Mobile Arena is set to seat roughly 17,500, which means the Kings shouldn’t have much trouble selling out the building again, as the Garden Arena had a similar capacity. T-Mobile Arena officially opened its doors last night with a concert by The Killers.
At the NHL’s GM meetings in mid-March, it was reported that a decision on expansion should be coming before the draft in June. However, even if Las Vegas is awarded an expansion franchise, the Kings’ pre-season tilt against the Stars will be the first NHL hockey played at the building. Any expansion franchise awarded to Las Vegas wouldn’t begin play until the 2017-18 season, and the pre-season game should give an interesting first look at the building for an NHL contest.