Golden Knights Torch Lighting Before Raiders MNF

The Vegas Golden Knights brought the Stanley Cup to Allegiant Stadium for a memorable Monday night in a spectacle that blended sports, entertainment, and community spirit.

The occasion was the “Monday Night Football” game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Green Bay Packers, and the Golden Knights were there to light the Al Davis Memorial Torch. However, the experience proved to be much grander than expected.

A Stunning View from the Top

“I mean, when you see the stadium from up there, it’s pretty wild,” remarked Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo moments after descending the stage beneath the 3D-printed torch in the north end zone. “Big stadium. We also love football, so it’s really nice to go up there and be on the stadium roof. Just a cool experience.”

Together, the Golden Knights embarked on a journey to Allegiant Stadium, departing from their training facility, City National Arena, in nearby Summerlin.

They set out at 3:15 local time and arrived at 4:15, just 15 minutes after the Stanley Cup had already made its way to the venue and an hour before the kickoff.

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A Warm Welcome

As they walked up the ramp, down the tunnel, and onto the field in the north end zone, enthusiastic fans greeted the Golden Knights with cheers. Many fans hung over the railings, eager to exchange high fives or snap a quick picture with their hockey heroes.

The Golden Knights observed the Raiders and Packers warming up on the north side of the Raiders sideline. They were welcomed by Raiders owner Mark Davis, former Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, and Raiders coach Josh McDaniels.

Davis playfully bowed to the Golden Knights, congratulating them on their Stanley Cup victory. Lynch engaged in a lengthy conversation with goalie Adin Hill.

At the same time, McDaniels expressed his gratitude for the Golden Knights’ presence at the game and extended his congratulations for their championship win.

A Golden Prank and a Golden Moment

After that, the Golden Knights were guided to the 200th floor. In the elevator lobby, they donned their iconic golden jerseys. Still, they couldn’t resist playing a prank on forward Paul Cotter.

They pretended to have forgotten his jersey, leading him to believe he would have to go on stage in his black T-shirt. The joke was stretched long enough to make Cotter slightly uncomfortable before Captain Mark Stone presented him with his jersey.

As they made their way onto the concourse, fans continued to cheer them on and seek high fives and photo opportunities. They finally went on the stage under the ample light, and Mark Stone held up the Stanley Cup while Jonathan Marchessault got ready to make it shine.

Building Bonds Beyond the Ice

“We want to make a strong connection with the city,” Stone said. “We enjoy playing in Las Vegas as the Knights, and the Raiders have been here for four years now. I think they are starting to really like the city too.

It’s special to have this bond between us. They want to win a championship like we did last season, and we hope they can do it.” The Raiders made the Al Davis Memorial Torch after their old owner died on October 8, 2011.

Since then, a ceremony has been held to light it before every game. The torch at Allegiant Stadium is considered the largest freestanding 3D-printed structure globally, dwarfing the original gas-operated torch with a flame that first landed at the Oakland Coliseum, the Raiders’ former home in Oakland. This original torch is perpetually lit at the team’s headquarters in Henderson, Nevada.

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A Historic First

The Golden Knights proudly marked a historic moment as the second entire team to participate in the pregame ceremony, following in the footsteps of the WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces, who lit the torch before a game against the Denver Broncos on October 2, 2022.

Over the years, the Raiders have seen various celebrities, former players, pro football Hall of Famers, law enforcement officials, local politicians, business leaders, and fans participate in the pregame torch-lighting ceremony.

However, the Golden Knights made history by becoming the first representatives from the hockey community to light the torch.

A Unique Experience

“It was cool,” expressed Vegas center Jack Eichel, who was also interviewed on ESPN during halftime of the football game. “Being here is really special. Going up on that stage and lighting the torch is a one-of-a-kind experience. I thought it was awesome.”

Eichel emphasized the importance of embracing such celebratory moments for the Golden Knights. Their festivities didn’t end at the torch lighting; they also received their championship rings in a special ceremony at Wynn Las Vegas the day before.

They will also hang up the championship flag before starting the season against the Seattle Kraken at T-Mobile Arena. “I was thinking about it last night, talking to a couple of guys here,” Eichel continued. “I think we know the new season is beginning, but we shouldn’t forget to enjoy the wonderful moments we have. These are such unique and great experiences. I think it’s important for us to enjoy each other, ensure we’re not overlooking anything, and try to stay in the moment. What we earned, what we won last year, was special.”

Vegas’s victory in the Stanley Cup last season marked their sixth in the NHL since their debut as an expansion team in 2017-18. The Golden Knights sealed the championship by defeating the Florida Panthers in five games in the Stanley Cup Final.

As the Golden Knights revel in these memorable moments, it’s clear that their presence in Las Vegas is not only about hockey but also about fostering a deep connection with their community and fellow sports enthusiasts.

The lighting of the Al Davis Memorial Torch stands as a testament to their commitment to building a legacy beyond the ice.

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