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Golden Knights Anthem Will Honor City Of Las Vegas

A member of Route 91 will lead the national anthem during Tuesday's home opener

by Gary Lawless @GoldenKnights /

Route 91 was the original road into Las Vegas. The Vegas Golden Knights are also hoping it can be a path to healing.

Keith Dotson, manager of Festivals and Outdoor Events for MGM Resorts International, is on the team which plans and operates the Route 91 country music festival.

Dotson was on site during the shootings which killed 58 people and wounded close to 500. He will walk on to the ice Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena supported by his teammates and sing the opening words to the national anthem. Dotson will ask the entire arena to join him in song.

"It's going to be very heightened emotionally of course due to the situation," said Dotson. "Being in entertainment so long, you always know that the show must go on. So, I feel honored that I get to do it and I'm glad that my team will be backing me up. That's one of the biggest things about it."

Video: Yotes, Golden Knights honor Vegas victims


Tuesday happens to be the home opener for the Golden Knights in their inaugural season. This night was supposed to be a celebration of hockey. Instead, it will be an opportunity for the hockey team to try and take part in a process which GM George McPhee has termed as, "to grieve, heal and persevere."

Team president Kerry Bubolz has spearheaded the planning for Tuesday's pre-game ceremony.

"First and foremost, we want to send the message to the community that we understand the unique role and place that we have. We have to lift spirits. That's what professional sports does for a community," said Bubolz. "We've programmed the evening to appropriately honor those that were affected and those that became instant heroes due to their actions. Once we drop the puck, we want to be a distraction for a couple of hours and hopefully we can some away with two points."


Video: VGK@DAL: Stars, Vegas stand as one for tributes


GMs get fired when they lose too many games. Rarely is anything significant enough for competition to take a backseat in their eyes.

"Let me just say it's not going to be our typical opener. We'll save that for Friday. Tuesday night is not about us. It's about honoring and remembering the victims and supporting their families and recognizing the first responders that did tremendous work," said McPhee. "It has been, obviously, for this country and for this city an incredibly emotional experience and a devastating experience for a lot of people. We are going to try to have the ceremony tomorrow night that provides the respect and dignity to everyone involved that it deserves."

Dotson says the national anthem on Tuesday will be a chance for his city to begin healing.

"The national anthem is about being proud and it's something that adds a sense of unity to all of us. So there is a connection which will resonate on this night," he said. "I'm very proud of Vegas. It's my home, I've been here for over 20 years now so it's home. I'm very proud of Vegas and the way people came together and stood up. We were Vegas strong that night and we will be Vegas strong moving forward. We've been tested but we've answered back. We won't quit."

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