Las Vegas Rampage - San Antonio Rampage

Las Vegas Rampage – Golden Knights Bring Hockey to the Desert for the Second Time

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Las Vegas will be home to a second professional hockey team in 2020.  The Vegas Golden Knights announced Thursday, February 6, the acquisition of the San Antonio Rampage franchise of the American Hockey League. 

 

The deal, pending approval from the AHL’s Board of Governors, will include a bid to relocate the Rampage to the Henderson/Las Vegas area in time for the start of the 2020-21 season.  In the meantime, the Rampage is expected to stay in San Antonio for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

The announcement was made by Vegas Golden Knights Chairman and CEO Bill Foley. “Since our initial season ticket drive began five years ago in February 2015, we have witnessed first-hand the incredible passion and enthusiasm our community has for hockey,” Foley said. “By every relevant metric, the growth of the game here the last few years at all levels has been remarkable. We could not be more proud to bring a second professional hockey club to the Valley to accelerate this growth even further.”

Details regarding the team’s new name, logo and home arena will be announced at a later date following the approval of the team’s relocation.  The Golden Knights, however, have announced plans to use their new community arena, Lifeguard Arena in Henderson as the team’s new headquarters and practice facility.  The $25 million project was approved by Henderson city officials in May of last year and is expected to be completed in July.

The Golden Knights also announced Thursday that Las Vegas fans can already start placing bids to purchase season tickets for the new team’s inaugural season in the Valley.  Fans can place $50 per seat refundable deposits to get tickets for next season and tickets are expected to start at just $10 per seat per game.  Current Golden Knights season ticket holders will be given priority to purchase season tickets.

Since their inaugural season in 2017-18, the Golden Knights have been affiliated with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves franchise as their farm team. The five year deal would have kept the two franchises affiliated through the 2021-22 season.  That partnership, however, will come to an end after three years following the conclusion of the current season. Speaking to the media last Saturday, Chicago Wolves chairman Don Levin said there is “no scenario at all” in which the Wolves and the Golden Knights would retain their affiliation past this season. 

The Golden Knights had been openly shopping for an AHL franchise willing to sell and relocate to Las Vegas.  With a dedicated fan base well established after just three seasons in the NHL, it made sense for the Golden Knights to bring a second team to their home city to sell more tickets to a market that is hungry for more hockey.  The new team in Las Vegas will nearly double the number of hockey games played in town, and the AHL team’s ticket prices will be more affordable than NHL prices.

As the Golden Knights push for their third consecutive playoff appearance and now with a new head coach leading the team, fans have plenty of excitement to look forward to for years to come. Now, with a new professional farm team located just around the corner, the intimate bond between players and fans will only make an already hockey-crazed town even more dedicated to watching hockey in the desert.

 

Leo Schauer

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