Las Vegas will be the center of the National Hockey League universe as the league hosts its All-Star game at T-Mobile Arena this Saturday.
Aside from the on-ice action that includes the All-Star Game and All-Stars Skills competition. And the Las Vegas Convention Center will host the Truly Hard Seltzer NHL Fan Fair from Feb. 3-6, among many events that will be happening across the city.
Dean Matsuzaki, the executive vice president of events for the NHL said that everyone at the league is excited to have Las Vegas as the host for the All-Star Game, given the success of the Vegas Golden Knights and how the community has embraced the franchise.
“It’s a very busy market, but we’ve looked at this as a way to really reach out and to build even more hockey fans in Las Vegas,” Matsuzaki said.
The NHL All-Star Game will be played in a three-on-three format, with three 20 minute games with the all-stars from the four divisions playing each other in a bracket style format.
Before the All-Star Game, the All-Stars Skills competition will happen Friday night, with a pair of new events that will highlight Las Vegas.
The Bellagio Fountains will be the site of the Discover NHL Fountain Face-Off. Players will be standing on a platform in the middle of the Fountains and will have to shoot the pucks into the five targets in the least amount of time.
On Las Vegas Boulevard there will be 52 oversized playing cards and players will shoot the puck and play blackjack, trying to get the highest hand in the fewest shots without going over 21.
“We always try to tailor our All-Star weekend as much as we can to the local market. Las Vegas provides a lot of opportunities,” Matsuzaki said of the new events added to the skills competition.
Away from the ice, fans can attend the NHL Fan Fair that is at the West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Fans will be able to test their skills with interactive games, learn more about the history of the NHL, get to see the Stanley Cup and other trophies, and get to join chat sessions with hockey alumni and personalities.
“That is the place where new fans that are new to the game, or even people who have been fans of the league for a long time, can get there and experience hockey in all forms,” Matsuzaki said.
One exhibit that Matsuzaki is excited for is an exhibit put together with the help of the Hockey Hall of Fame that will showcase the history of hockey in Nevada.
Another important aspect for the weekend for the NHL is to be active in the community where the game is being played. The NHL will have its STREET Showcase with local kids getting the opportunity to learn about the game of hockey and receive their own hockey kit, to help spread the game to the youth in southern Nevada.
Matsuzaki acknowledged the importance of the NHL getting out in the community and making a lasting impact for future hockey fans to come.
Also, UNLV will be hosting a panel discussion on Feb. 3 featuring UNLV professor Dr. Nancy Lough moderating the “Women Leaders in Pro Sports Panel Discussion,” that will focus on diversity in sports and women in hockey.
For more information regarding this week’s activities, head to nhl.com/fans/all-star.