LAS VEGAS (FOX5) –
When the Golden Knights held their ticket drive almost two years ago, the result showed how big the fanbase could be, but it wasn’t until the first season Vegas saw how passionate fans would be.
“My whole life I wanted a team to really embrace, to support, cheer on, and go crazy for,” Golden Knights season ticket holder Robyn Gabriel said. “We legitimately woke up and stood in line. I’ve never stood in line for anything. It’s all the memories and experiences that come along with having a team in our city.”
“Honestly, I just bought 24 pucks. Right now I feel like a little kid again collecting baseball cards, it’s crazy, it takes over,” Golden Knights fan Victor Rivera said.
There is no age requirement or restriction and to be a fan in Vegas, and there are only two types of currency.
“We do monumental pucks to display them,” Gabriel said. “We have every single poster. If I don’t have a poster, I go up to someone and say ‘Do you want to smile at the baby and I’ll take your poster? I had to do that a couple nights ago because they ran out of posters. Posters are very aggressive.”
What started as a game day souvenir has turned into a Medieval Maniac must-have.
“When they were introduced that first game, we knew we had something special,” Golden Knights Chief Marketing Officer Brian Killingsworth said. “These posters are going for hundreds and hundreds of dollars on eBay. We never would have thought that from the start. I think it’s just a testament to our fans and this incredible season that we’re all riding the wave and it’s all really phenomenal.”
One of the poster and puck pioneers was Sammy Leyva. He and some friends early on in the season, would meet up at City National Arena. What started with 20 people, has turned into more than 1,000 members between multiple Facebook group pages.
“All of a sudden people would see us here, ‘What is that? Oh, we want to get into collecting posters now,” Sammy Leyva said.
Not all posters share the same value, some hold special meaning, like the Vegas Strong number one. Others like games 25 and 32 due to a pair of misspellings, but there is one that is sought after more than the rest.
“Chance (the mascot) had an extremely limited run. That was just for Black Friday and if you have a Chance, you’re holding on to something special,” Killingsworth said. “It was supposed to be just for kids, so if you get your hands on one of those, you might be able to afford season tickets next year.”
Now whether fans have a chance at Chance or not, collectors said it’s about the chase and sense of community.
“‘Hey man I know you couldn’t make this game, here is a free one, I’ll see ya next time, you get me,'” Rivera said.
“It’s a nice way for somebody like me who just moved to Las Vegas, to interact with other people that live here and kind of meet new friends,” Leyva said.
“We’re excited about is the community. It’s developing, these are people that never really met each other that are brought together by the team and the Vegas Golden Knights. And the posters, if they play a part, that’s pretty special too,” Killingsworth said.
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