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The Story Behind The Golden Knights Pregame Theatrics

Jonny Greco, Vice President of Entertainment and Production for the Golden Knights, sits down to discuss the story behind the pregame theatrics

by Kaitlyn Amaral @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

The countdown starts from 10. "It's Knight Time!" is yelled loudly through T-Mobile Arena. The lights go dark, and the show begins.

Jonny Greco, VP of Entertainment and Production for the Vegas Golden Knights, wanted to build a story to start each home game. The vision was derived from owner Bill Foley to have a conquering hero - the Golden Knight - take on his opponent. He wanted it to all happen on the ice.

"I wanted to tie in some of the live elements with on-ice performances that a lot of other teams didn't do," Greco said, adding he wanted to "create the best home-ice advantage for our players to play in, and have the loudest crowd and passionate fans to cheer for them."

 

After a 109-point regular season that cultivated with a Pacific Division championship, the Golden Knights ventured into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their first opponent was the Los Angeles Kings; already considered a rival by some before the season even began.

That's the moment Greco knew he wanted to take the show to the next level.

"I wanted to keep the same narrative and messaging with the story leading, but grow it going into playoffs," he said.  

Known for the regular season theatrics, Greco's team knew they had to elevate the show, but not stray too far from their storyline. A medieval clash between royalty and a warrior: Knights vs. Kings. The Golden Knight created a blaze to capture the King in a ring of fire to be defeated. The Golden Knights completed a four-game sweep to move on to the second round and battle the beast of the sea.

Video: LAK@VGK, Gm1: Golden Knights open playoffs in style

In the second round against the San Jose Sharks, Greco needed to go through some creative rabbit holes to portray a knight facing an aquatic animal. The ceremony featured an on-ice projection of a shark circling the pier in which the Golden Knight stood, eventually turning to a human that was eventually defeated.

Video: SJS@VGK, Gm1: Golden Knights open Second Round

But it wasn't just the two dueling forces that Greco wanted to incorporate in the pregame festivities.

Greco added elements, such as the Knight Line drum corps and Golden Aces to further elaborate on the performance.

"We weren't going crazy, and not completely breaking the mold of what we did all year long," Greco said. "We just enhanced it a little more."

The Golden Knights finished the Sharks in six games to advance to the Western Conference Final against a more unique opponent that would require some in-depth game-planning: the Winnipeg Jets.

So, of course, the Golden Knight took on an actual jet.

Greco envisioned the cloaked figure being roped high into the rafters and portraying a jet. The on-ice projectors resembled a runway with a jet preparing to take off with the Golden Knight in sight. One swipe of the sword later, the jet split in half, crashed, and released pyrotechnics out of the castle near the top deck of T-Mobile Arena.

Video: WPG@VGK, Gm3: Golden Knights dazzle with ceremony

Now, Greco's latest test is trying to come up something for the Stanley Cup Final, where the Golden Knights will take on the Washington Capitals.

The one thing Greco wants to do is simple: "Give our team home-ice advantage and have the crowd react well," he said. "It will be a lot like the other shows, but it'll be kicked up another notch, especially with the wardrobe."

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