LAS VEGAS (AP) – Thousands of Vegas Golden Knights fans lined the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday for the Stanley Cup victory parade and rally in front of the team’s home arena to mark the city’s first NHL championship.
For the team that played its first game as an expansion franchise in October 2017, and for tourists in hotel rooms with windows overlooking the parade route in 2023, the event was five years ago the deadliest gun in modern U.S. history. It left the afterglow of the mass shooting incident. Guests living on higher floors with views of the Strip were awakened by security and asked to check their windows for guns or other weapons.
The motorcade’s route continued for about a mile (1.6 km) from the area near Flamingo Road to Tropicana Avenue, after which fans gathered in the Park District in front of Toshiba Plaza and T-Mobile Arena.
Las Vegas police said organizers expected more than 100,000 people to attend the street viewing area along Las Vegas Boulevard for the celebration, compared to the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show, which has attracted an estimated 400,000 people in previous years. of people were preparing to pack.
At one point people separated barricades and climbed fences, but otherwise orderly.
Above the arena stage where hockey players gathered with trophies, a banner bearing the names of the victims of the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting that left 58 dead and more than 850 injured. rice field.
From the 32nd floor window of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, a gunman rained bullets into a crowd of 20,000 at an open-air country music festival across the street. Fifty-eight people died that night, and two later died from their injuries. Authorities said more than 850 people were injured. The gunman committed suicide before the police arrived. His motives for attacking were never firm.
Those gathered on Saturday remembered the shooting and the role the Golden Knights played in rebuilding the spirit of the community.
Players who were drafted by other NHL teams and called themselves the “Golden Misfits” welcomed survivors, first responders and volunteers, and the team has long been known as the “Golden Misfits” aimed at healing community trauma. It has played a key role in the Vegas Strong event.
In that first year, team owner Bill Foley famously predicted that the Golden Knights would reach the playoffs within three years and win the Stanley Cup six years later. The franchise surprised many by making the playoffs in its first year and making it to the championship before losing to the Washington Capitals in five games.
This year, the Golden Knights made it through the playoffs without ever going to an elimination game, beating the Florida Panthers 9-3 in Game 5 on Tuesday. Team captain Mark Stone scored a ‘hat-trick’ of three goals. Jonathan Marcheso won the Con Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Marchessault is one of the six original members of the Golden Knights expansion team. He and others (Riley Smith, William Carlson, Shea Theodore, Brayden McNabb and William Carrier) were among the first to host the Stanley Cup in postgame celebrations.
Throughout the week, players have been spotted celebrating at some of the same glitzy resorts the procession passed through. Casinos include familiar names such as Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Bellagio, Horseshoe, Paris Las Vegas, Cosmopolitan, Planet Hollywood, New York-New York, Aria and MGM Grand.
After the Las Vegas Aces defeated the Connecticut Sun to win the WNBA championship last September, the parade route, arena and plaza also hosted a championship victory celebration. A women’s basketball team also plays at his T-Mobile arena.
Associated Press sportswriter Mark Anderson contributed to this report.
This article has been updated to fix the road closure starting at 4:30pm instead of 3pm.
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https://wgnradio.com/sports/vegas-golden-knights-championship-parade-expected-to-rival-new-years-eve-on-strip-planners-say/ Las Vegas Golden Knights and Fans Enjoy Parade and Rally Celebrating First NHL Championship | Wagon Radio 720