Sharks’ bigwig gets ‘Tanked’ on Las Vegas trip

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is Encore Las Vegas, the media headquarters for the NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft event set for Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena.

Las Vegas’ status as a hockey town is evident all over town. Earlier I had contact with none other than John Tortora.

Who is John Tortora? He is Chief Operating Officer of the San Jose Sharks, a soon-to-be rival of the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL’s Pacific Division.

What does this hockey official think of hockey coming to a town where Tuesday’s high temperature was 117 degrees?

“I think it’s fantastic. The great thing about a hockey rink is, people go into the hockey rink and they’ll cool down,” said Tortora, in town filming an episode of “Tanked” with Brett Raymer and Wayde King at Acrylic Tank Manufacturing. “But seriously, Las Vegas has tremendous fan support, and it’s long overdue to have a professional sports team here. The Golden Knights have strong ownership, strong management. We, as the Sharks, welcome them into the Pacific Division.”

The aquarium being designed by Raymer and King’s crew is to be installed at the Sharks’ home arena, SAP Center, aptly known as The Shark Tank. The episode airs this fall on the Animal Planet series.

More from the scene:

More Ice and T-Mobile

One winner already in the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor bout is Ice Cube. The rap star will likely receive a nice stipend for moving his Big 3 basketball tournament – an event that has benefited from unexpected media coverage – from T-Mobile Arena to the MGM Grand for the Aug. 26 bout.

I’m confidently informed that Mayweather Promotions wants T-Mobile, and T-Mobile only, for this bout, and that the Big 3 event will be scheduled so it ends before Mayweather and McGregor step into the ring on Aug. 26. That way, the VIPs at the Big 3 event, including Ice Cube, can make the fight.

Strip is Beautiful

Maybe Rehan Choudhry doesn’t want to save the world. But he’s improving his own little corner. Known mostly for his days as founder of the annual Life is Beautiful festival in downtown Las Vegas, Choudhry announced the first Emerge Music and Impact Conference on Tuesday morning at Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel. The event is set for Nov. 16-18 and the event will feature more than 100 emerging artists and speakers at multiple Strip venues.

Despite his strong connection to downtown, Choudhry says he is returning to his Vegas roots on the Strip.

“A lot of people don’t realize that I moved here to open up a casino on the Strip, as head of entertainment at the Cosmopolitan,” he said. “So my first experiences in Las Vegas were in the heart of the Strip.”

Thus, Choudhry has booked many Strip venues, such as Brooklyn Bowl, the Linq Showroom, Harrah’s Showroom and the Cabaret at Planet Hollywood, for the Emerge conference. He’s also roped in Vinyl and the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.

“The beauty of Las Vegas is we have more multimillion-dollar concert venues per capita than anywhere else in the world and they are under-utilized,” Choudhry said. “We’re taking over all those venues and giving artists a chance to play these spaces.”

Expect Drai’s at the Cromwell to host an EDM event, and the Spiegeltent, home of “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, to join the Emerge lineup.

Front Yard at Ellis Island

A new entertainment venue is planned for an old Vegas establishment. Ellis Island on Koval Lane, just south of Flamingo Road, is opening “The Front Yard,” planning to open no later than January. The two-story outdoor venue has a capacity of 300 and features a casual (as opposed to formal) brew-pub atmosphere with the requisite tavern games as cornhole, shuffleboard and beer pong. More exciting from this perch are plans for regular live entertainment featuring Vegas bands and artists. The rendering and more details are being unveiled during a media event Thursday at Ellis Island.

Who Was Where

Insomniac Events and Electric Daisy Carnival founder Pasquale Rotella and his wife, Holly Madison, spent Friday night at Marquee Skydeck at EDC. The festival and club have special meaning for the couple, who met at the first EDC held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011 and spent their first date at Marquee nightclub at the Cosmopolitan a year later.

Also at the Marquee VIP deck on Friday: Vegas frequenters Drew Carey and Paris Hilton.

On Saturday, Matthew McConaughey and his wife, Camila McConaughey, hosting their a charity blackjack tournament at The Venetian Las Vegas to benefit their Just Keep Livin foundation.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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