SportsVegas Golden Knights


NHL promises unique viewing experience for this weekend's Golden Knights game in Lake Tahoe

VGK playing in first ever outdoor game
Golden Knights
Posted at 8:52 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-20 01:24:06-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — From Lake Tahoe to your living room, who's ready to watch some hockey this weekend!?

For the first time ever on Saturday, the Vegas Golden Knights will play an outdoor game about seven hours northwest of Las Vegas in Stateline.

RELATED: Tahoe outdoor NHL games could lead to more picturesque sites

So much goes into building an NHL-caliber ice rink outdoors. From the infrastructure to house the teams and the electrical infrastructure to be able to broadcast the game worldwide, to the actual sheet of ice itself.

And even though fans won't be allowed to watch in-person, the whole event is tailored for the fans who can't be there but will be watching from home.

13 Action News spoke with some of the folks responsible for building the outdoor arena who provided a preview of what you can expect to see this weekend.

"For the first time ever, we are going to have drones flying and drones are going to be a huge part of the coverage," said Steve Mayer, the chief content officer for the NHL.

"We’ve got jibs, cameras everywhere, microphones everywhere," he said.

"I really do believe this is going to be one of the most unique-covered games in the history of the NHL and we want to show off the beauty of this area, but also we want to show off the NHL in a very different way."

RELATED: Vegas Golden Knights arrive at Lake Tahoe

This weekend's matchup between the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche will be played on a regulation rink, right in the middle of the 18th fairway of the golf course at Edgewood Tahoe Resort, providing a picturesque backdrop from every angle.

"We were researching a number of places and we were down to a few," said Dean Matsuzaki, the executive vice president of events for the NHL.

"We made the visit here and once we got out here on the golf course, on the 18th fairway, we saw the view across the lake it and it was kind of like, 'OK, I think we found our spot,'" he recalled.

"Also, it’s a spot that has all the infrastructure that we need," Matsuzaki explained, "in terms of hotels for the teams."

The made-for-TV arena wasn't built overnight.

It took crews over a week to put all the pieces together, constructing the entire setup from scratch. And it wasn't without its challenges.

"You come out here and it’s a blank canvas," said Mayer. "You’ve got to put the wiring in place, the wall in place before you ever plug the plug into the wall. And they’ve been able to do it and do it magnificently."

The final product is now in place with everything the teams need to play a competitive game.

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS | Read more VGK-related stories

"We are doing everything we can to replicate what an NHL team needs and has in their home locker room," said Matsuzaki. "We have the bikes, the weight room, we have the locker room, washrooms, all of the treatment rooms."

"All of that is built into the tent," he said.

There are two NHL games being played at Lake Tahoe this weekend.

On Sunday, the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers will square off on the same ice.

Puck drops in the Golden Knights and Avalanche game at noon on Saturday.