When the puck stops for Golden Knights games, so will RTC buses

Now that the jerseys have been revealed and the expansion draft is complete, it has become the $64,000 question on the $10,000 pyramid, or whatever it will cost to park at Golden Knights games at T-Mobile Arena:

Will there be easy access to parking?

I was directed to a VGK Frequently Asked Questions section on the Internet. That was the fourth one posed. Google was clicking like a Zamboni on all cylinders.

The arena developers, MGM and AEG, have done a comprehensive traffic study and have made major improvements to the access and egress surrounding the arena. Detailed traffic and parking plans at T-Mobile Arena can be found by clicking here.

I clicked there.


Well, there’s always public transportation.

Last week the Golden Knights put out information about the parking garages, and there were more options than in the Oklahoma wishbone when Barry Switzer was coach. Most seemed contingent on arranging for parking in advance. If you do that, you will receive a discount.

If not, better pitch to Billy Sims.

Year of the RTC?

Pre-paid parking does not address the problem that will arise when somebody who doesn’t prepay gets to the gate without $20, or his debit card is declined. In that case, the gate will not go up, although the blood pressure of those stuck in the queue behind almost certainly will.

So, yeah, there’s always public transportation, said longtime Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown.

“We’re going to create some dedicated hockey buses,” the former pitcher for the original Las Vegas Stars and ex-Harvard quarterback said after speaking to his man at the Regional Transportation Commission.

There will be a minimum of three hockey express RTC buses that will get fans to T-Mobile a lot faster than a Zamboni clicking on all cylinders. The routes will originate in downtown Summerlin, Green Valley Ranch in Henderson and Centennial Hills, so most parts of the valley are covered.

The hockey express buses will cost a reasonable $5, and you’ll be dropped off in the crease, or close enough to get whacked across the ankles by Billy Smith, were he still tending goal.

These hockey express buses could be a lot of fun, in the way that taking the “L” to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game is a lot of fun. You can imagine everybody on the bus wearing their Golden Knights jerseys, and those on board getting boisterous, and those on board issuing casual warnings to those punks from Syracuse, or whomever the Golden Knights are playing.

There’s only one caveat. People out West, unlike people back East, are not accustomed to riding “L” trains and buses to ballgames and other sporting events.

Limited hitching posts

“The culture in Las Vegas and the Southwest is you ride your horse and hitch it to a post,” Larry Brown said.

Hitching posts are in short supply at T-Mobile, as are sprawling, well-lit public parking lots.

So can the culture be changed?

“We want to create an experience where people are comfortable (riding the bus) … where they’re not dodging cigarette butts and stepping over puke,” Brown said, thereby reducing Jim Schoenfeld’s famous quote that Don Koharski have another doughnut to an insignificant pile of ice shavings.

Brown said the Golden Knights have been proactive in reaching out to the RTC and other entities to alleviate parking concerns. Should problems arise, they might only be temporary. Hockey fans, and Imagine Dragons fans, will figure out a system, Brown said.

Maybe they’ll arrive early and stay late, blowing off pre- and postgame steam at the many watering holes flanking the arena. Maybe they’ll find some secret back way into the building, or close to it, and not tell friends. Maybe they’ll take Uber and Lyft and discuss the neutral zone trap and utilitarianism with the millennial driver, and what has been happening on “Game of Thrones.”

But Larry Brown wants to remind Golden Knights fans that when the puck stops at T-Mobile Arena, so will RTC buses, and it’ll cost way less than a large beer. And that while New York Rangers supporters are probably used to it, those who ride won’t have to dodge cigarette butts and step over puke.

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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