Itinerant Fan

T-Mobile Arena

After many, many years of trying, Las Vegas has become a major league city. The NHL awarded it a franchise that began play in 2017, but in some ways it feels like Sin City’s been ready for a long time.

Once you check out the arena that the new team will call home, you can see why. In T-Mobile Arena, just off the Strip and near one of the city’s busiest intersections, Vegas has a first-rate facility that measures up with some of the best buildings in the league it’s joining. And when there’s no hockey going on, it gets plenty of use as the home of future big-time boxing and mixed martial arts events, college basketball and more.

And when the Oakland Raiders complete their plan to relocate to Vegas — in a stadium proposed for construction just across the freeway from where the arena is now — T-Mobile Arena may be looked upon a few decades down the line as the building that brought Vegas into the big-time as far as pro sports is concerned.

We got a chance to take a sneak preview of the hockey scene at T-Mobile, in the form of two preseason NHL games before the start of the 2016-17 season, and if those games are any indication, hockey fans in Vegas have a lot to look forward to.

  •   The Approach

    While directions are certainly useful in Las Vegas, when it comes to attractions on the Strip it’s more helpful to mention where they are in relation to nearby casinos. So with that in mind, T-Mobile Arena is behind New York New York and near the Monte Carlo.

    But if you’ve never been to Vegas, you might not have a sense of where either of those two are, so make your way to the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard (aka the Strip) and Tropicana Avenue, where four of the most prominent casino/hotels reside: the MGM Grand, New York New York, the Tropicana and the Excalibur. Then head west on Tropicana to find the arena, nestled between New York New York and Interstate 15. In fact, if you’re heading to the arena on I-15, it won’t be difficult to spot.

    Keep in mind, though, that traffic for arena events will back up near the Tropicana Avenue exits in both directions — certainly, it did for these events. And parking appears to be just as difficult; Vegas casino patrons are used to free parking, but the three closest structures (at New York, New York, Monte Carlo and Aria) are each charging $20 for arena events. You can purchase parking in advance and save $10, but if you’d rather not pay, consider parking at a farther-away casino and walking.

    Really, walking along the Strip or through casinos isn’t exactly an undesirable alternative. It’s difficult to get lost, anyway, since there are numerous signs pointing you where you need to go. T-Mobile Arena directional signs become more frequent the closer you get, but in general, follow the signs to either New York New York or Monte Carlo to stay on the right track.

  •   The Build-Up

    Along the Vegas Strip, they make it really, really easy for you to find something to do, no matter what your tastes may be. Casino gambling, of course, is prominent among your options, and you have three major casinos at your disposal without having to cross a major street. (Spoiler alert: Though you can find slot machines at some really random spots in this city, including at the airport and in some restaurants and drugstores, there aren’t any inside T-Mobile Arena).

    But you’ll find plenty of traditional pregame entertainment as well. Along with the arena, a small district alongside New York New York called “The Park” was built that includes a very large brewpub called Beerhaus and several eateries, including a Shake Shack. If you’re walking toward the arena from the Strip, you’ll likely have to pass through it, making it very popular for sports fans. And the number of restaurants and bars within a half-mile radius are, quite frankly, endless considering the number of high-profile casinos around.

    Vegas can be notoriously difficult on the wallet, but most nearby casinos have mall-style food courts if you’re looking for budget options. New York New York’s happens to be close to the exit leading to The Park, and thus to the arena itself.

  •   The Ambiance

    Start by going through the Toshiba Plaza on the arena’s east side, facing the casinos and the Strip. In fact, unless you have VIP tickets that allow you to access a pair of exclusive side entrances, you’ll have to go through the Toshiba Plaza, because that’s where the only public entrance to the arena is. Luckily, it’s fairly wide and has a large enough number of turnstiles where you won’t be waiting too long to get in.

    Once inside you’re on the event level and have to ascend an escalator or stairs to get to the main concourse, which is decorated almost exactly the way you would expect of an arena in Las Vegas: Neon hues, bars at practically every corner, gaudy displays and, in some spots, large windows looking out onto the city. There are two lounges on the main concourse and another one above the upper seating level, with the latter, called the Hyde Lounge, helping constitute the most striking and unique feature of the arena: Two balconies jutting out above the seating bowl, fashioned to look like glaciers.

    Beyond that, T-Mobile Arena’s seating bowl is pretty standard stuff as arenas go, with two levels of seats and a suite level in between. In fact, the upper level is shaped like a horseshoe rather than an oval (which makes the building better suited for concerts), so you’ll have to pay close attention which section you’re in because you can’t walk all the way around.

    In the place of that missing chunk of upper-level sections is a giant mural of the Strip, which is a nice thing to look at when you’re not watching the game. But with good sight lines and a state-of-the-art scoreboard in the middle, the arena offers a spectating experience that measures up well with most of the newer buildings around the NHL. 

The Particulars

Home Teams
Vegas Golden Knights

Address
3780 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Year Opened
2016

Capacity
17,500

Upcoming Events
All times local
Pittsburgh Penguins at Vegas Golden Knights
Thursday, December 14, 2017
7:00 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »

Lady Gaga
Saturday, December 16, 2017
7:30 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »

Florida Panthers at Vegas Golden Knights
Sunday, December 17, 2017
5:00 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »

Tampa Bay Lightning at Vegas Golden Knights
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
7:00 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »

Washington Capitals at Vegas Golden Knights
Saturday, December 23, 2017
5:00 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »


View Seating Chart »