In Las Vegas, it can be hard to choose which club to dance at, restaurant to eat at, store to shop at, or show to watch. There’s only one place that combines all these elements into one experience, and that place is City National Arena. The Vegas Golden Knights practice facility is located away from The Strip in the Summerlin suburb. But don’t let the distance from the city’s center deter you from enjoying everything this arena has to offer.
Practice Makes Perfect
The first and best reason to visit City National Arena is to watch the superb Vegas Golden Knights in action. Tickets for games at T-Mobile Arena are a hot (and expensive) commodity. However, practices at City National Arena are free to attend, and can often replicate the game day atmosphere. Fans will arrive in VGK apparel to observe as their team takes the ice. Often at-capacity, the crowd cheers the guys on while they practice various game scenarios and run drills.
Speed is one of the qualities the team is known for, but it’s a quality that doesn’t entirely translate to the screen. Being present at a practice truly impresses upon viewers how fast the players are, and showcases the depth of their talent as well as their unrivaled chemistry. The sense of camaraderie is palpable.
Practice times are announced day-of via the Vegas Golden Knights Twitter feed (@GoldenKnights). Normally, arriving half an hour early will secure seats. However, during NHL Playoffs, City National Arena staff recommends arriving two hours prior. When practices are particularly full, staff will hand out wristbands in the morning, and fans can return later for the main event.
Fuel for the Fire
Even being a spectator can be exhausting. This practice facility has two eateries to help you refuel and refresh. The Montana-based chain MacKenzie River Pizza Grill & Pub occupies a section of the arena’s second floor. With modern, sleek interiors, VGK décor and a varied menu, this restaurant already has a great deal going for it. Throw in the large windows overlooking the practice ice rink, and your dining experience is elevated from delicious to delightful. Try the Golden Nites Bohemian Pilsner from local darling Lovelady Brewing to completely revel in the surroundings.
For lighter fare and a caffeine boost, head back downstairs to the Breakaway Coffee Shop. Choose savory, sweet or a little in-between with their selection of salads, pastries and snacks. Stay warm near the ice with a Golden Latté, their signature drink, made with a double shot of espresso and steamed vanilla almond milk spiced with golden honey, turmeric, cinnamon and ginger.
Twist and Shop
For those who are not the spectator sort, City National Arena has public skate hours almost every day. Work off all that good food and drink on the ice rink. On Fridays and Saturdays, public skate becomes Cosmic Skate. Glide along while music curated by an in-house DJ pulses in tunes with a stunning light show. For optimum comfort, don’t forget to bring gloves and a jacket – the Las Vegas heat will be a faint memory once you’re on the ice.
If the urge to skate is spontaneous and you’re ill-equipped, or you simply must commemorate your visit with a souvenir, head over to The Arsenal. There you can be outfitted from head to toe with exclusive, hard-to-find VGK apparel and accessories. From the popular (jerseys and pucks) to the uncommon (robes and plush Gila monsters), you’ll find it all in this shop. The staff is welcoming and helpful, so don’t be shy, especially if you’re a hockey newbie.
As the NHL season gets underway, make sure to check the City National Arena website for updates and exciting reveals of all the fun to come. Don’t miss out on a fabulous experience unlike any other, even in this fabulous town.