The D digs into its playbook for Golden Knights, Super Bowl

The KATS! Bureau at this writing is The D Las Vegas, where co-owner Derek Stevens is ready to drop the puck while running the no-huddle offense.

Mixed metaphors aside, The D is fast becoming downtown’s predominant sports hotel-casino. It’s an official promotional venue for the Vegas Golden Knights, and is known for hosting one of the city’s grandest Super Bowl parties.

The action will be in full Fleury — er, fury — from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, when The D hosts the Vegas Golden Knights Fan Fest, a mid-season pep rally at 3rd Street Stage. For red-carpet crawlers, that event happens at Casino Center Boulevard, with the full team joined by Golden Knights owner Bill Foley, head coach Gerard Gallant, and team president Kerry Bubolz.

Golden Knights broadcasters Dave Goucher and Shane Hnidy will be on hand to emcee. The event is free and open to the public. I expect a throng, and also chanting. Just like any other day on Fremont Street.

Thursday, Golden Knights goalie Oscar Dansk will hit the hotel’s famed Longbar for a meet-and-greet from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. This is also free to the public, but restricted to guests 21-and-over.

The D is also prepping for its second Downtown Watch Zone Big Game Bash (or, as I’m permitted to call it, Super Bowl Bash) at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. The outdoor events venue is being outfitted with an artificial-turf football field and 72-foot LED screen.

General seating at hundreds of four-top tables is free, and guests will be seated on a first-come, first-serve, basis. Several cabana-styled “Man Caves,” each equipped with its own flat-screen monitors and seating for 20, are available for purchase.

Last year’s event drew a little less than 3,200 Super Bowl watchers, says D Las Vegas Vice President of Operations Jeff Victor a number that should swell this year.

“A lot depends on the teams, and the weather, of course,” Victor said Tuesday. “But we’re really becoming sports central.”

Palms at night

More from our sweep through the ever-evolving Palms on Monday. The Pearl Concert Theater’s first ticketed show after renovations is a soft opening featuring hard bodies. The 2018 Jay Cutler Desert Classic bodybuilding and fitness competition, is set for March 31.

This is a “soft” opening, not a high-profile re-opening of the venue. Renovations will certainly still be underway in the theater when Cutler (a four-time Mr. Olympia champ and Las Vegas resident) and his cohorts take over the venue.

Also on Pearl’s extended schedule: Juanes on May 19, Charlie Puth on Aug. 12 and Niall Horan on Aug. 18.

Across the casino floor, Rain Nightclub is also being made-over, expensively, by Tao Group. The 29,000-square-foot club and 73,000-square-foot pool club can host 5,000 revelers. Performing some educated arithmetic: The project should cost upwards of $60 million to finish (Marquee at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas cost $60 million in 2010).

The idea is to compete with destination nightspots such as Marquee, the original Tao at The Venetian and XS Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas, nightspots that sapped business from the once-dominant Palms.

Take from a Ranger

The electric atmosphere at T-Mobile Arena for Vegas Golden Knights games has impressed visiting officials. After Sunday’s game, when the Golden Knights beat the New York Rangers 2-1 in front of a season-high crowd of 18,234, Rangers Senior Vice President of Public Relations John Rosasco passed along this note:

“It was a tremendous atmosphere and in-game experience for fans. I don’t recall seeing a regular-season game where everyone was in their seats for the national anthem.”

John Rosasco has been working in the NHL for more than 30 years, all with the Rangers.

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

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