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Las Vegas Aviators looking forward to Knights partnership

Updated December 8, 2018 - 10:38 pm

The Las Vegas Aviators and Vegas Golden Knights have formed quite a neighborhood community in Summerlin. You can almost throw a baseball (well, if you hit the cutoff man) from the Aviators’ Las Vegas Ballpark to the Golden Knights’ City National headquarters and practice facility.

These two franchises are forming a neighborhood association, at least in spirit, as the Aviators move toward their April 9 home opener against the Sacramento River Cats.

“We actually met with the Knights’ folks Tuesday, the first time we’ve actually sat down with them and said, ‘Let’s discuss opportunities,’ ” Aviators president Don Logan said after Saturday’s naming ceremony at Downtown Summerlin. “City National Arena is right there. What they have done is unbelievable, in terms of marketing and community outreach. The success of the team on the ice is the cherry on the sundae.”

At the moment, the teams’ formal cross-promotional efforts have been the combined VGK/Las Vegas 51s baseball jersey issued at Cashman Field in September.

Helpful to the franchise’s ongoing relationship is Logan has known Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz since the mid-1990s, when Bubolz was director of sales for the Dallas Stars and the 51s were still the Las Vegas Stars. The two were connected by ownership. Tom Hicks was a partner in the Mandalay Sports Entertainment, which owned the Las Vegas Stars; and was also an investor in the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars.

“There is a lot we’ve seen them do at City National Arena, beyond just the Golden Knights’ workouts,” Logan said. “There’s kids leagues, figure skating, adult leagues. I love going to the tavern (MacKenzie River Pizza Pub & Grill) there.”

Logan emphasized that the Las Vegas Stars were the original franchise that helped reshape the city’s reputation as a pro-sports destination. “We started it all. We’re the city’s first professional sports franchise,” he said. “We will make things happen with the Golden Knights. These are exciting times.”

K.K. on the scene

Ken Korach has made it full circle back to Las Vegas, where he still has a home. Korach is the play-by-play man for the Oakland A’s, the Aviators’ parent club, and was also the radio voice of the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, alongside the great color man and ex-Rebel, the late Glen Gondrezick. I met Korach just after moving to town in 1996. Total class act. He was on at Saturday’s Aviators’ naming event, grinning, and afterward said he was eager to see Las Vegas Ballpark open, “This is all coming together, and it’s so great for the city.”

Cosmo? That you?

The 51s mascot ambled onstage to join in a group photo op after Saturday’s naming ceremony. The alien being with the googly eyes donned a new Aviators jersey, and is expected to make promotional appearances at least until the team’s decides on its next mascot.

Cosmo could well stick around as an “alternate” mascot. The kids love … it.

The team’s public relations director, Jim Gemma, explained Cosmo’s continued residence in Las Vegas. “The spaceship left without him.”

Zombie at 5

“Zombie Burlesque,” a soaring adult satire musical and a Las Vegas success story, marks its fifth anniversary at V Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood on Thursday. The show is piloted by original cast member and column fave Enoch Augustus Scott, backed by a ferocious dance team and the crack Atomic Band. From the stage, Enoch (as he is uniformly known), delivers the classic line, “Zombie women be SHOPPIN’!” See it to believe it.

Lightfoot tix on sale

The previously reported “Gordon Lightfoot 80 Years Strong” shows on March 15-16 at International Theater at Westgate go on sale 10 a.m. Monday. The Danny Zelisko Presents engagement celebrates Lightfoot’s 50-plus-year career. He has a bunch of hits, one of those artists who starts a song and you go, “He sings that, too?”

On the set list are such classics as “Early Morning Rain,” “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Carefree Highway,” “Sundown,” “For Lovin Me,” “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” “Canadian Railroad Trilogy,” “Ribbon of Darkness,” “Beautiful,” “Song For A Winter’s Night,” and “Rainy Day People.”

Tickets start at $30 (fees not included); find those ducats at Westgate’s box office or online at westgateresorts.com.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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