Vegas fans go to extremes to be in D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sarah and Drew Johnson are Vegas Golden Knights season-ticket holders and what you’d call die-hard fans. How die-hard? In order to watch the expansion team battle for the Stanley Cup in Game 3 in Washington, D.C., they went to extremes.
“We actually bought Capitals season tickets to get [priority access] to buy this game. So we’re Vegas season-ticket holders and Capitals season-ticket holders now,” Sarah Johnson said Saturday.
They did what?
“We spent $3,000 for the season tickets and then bought the Cup Final tickets for face,” said Drew Johnson, who is frequently in D.C as a senior fellow at the National Center For Public Policy Research.
He carried a pink flamingo around Game 3. She wore a bedazzled gold jacket with a Golden Knights logo on it. They were two of a small but noticeable group of Knights fans who flew cross-country for Saturday night’s contest.
“We paid $1,100 apiece. The seats are way up yonder,” said John Baratta of Las Vegas, pointing to the upper deck. “The Golden Knights, you gotta love them. We got good players, and we got good coaches, too. It all comes together like … like an ham and egger, you know? You gotta love it.”
Brad Ellis and his daughter MJ spent “an arm and a leg” on tickets. They wore matching shimmering gold jackets, with gold face paint and gold hats. MJ held a sign against the glass during warm-ups depicting a knight impaling the “Weagle,” the Capitals’ alternative logo.
“We knew we were going to come as soon as they advanced to the next round. We’ve been to every home and away playoff game except for one,” he said. “When we went to Winnipeg, there were 20 Knights fans there. Here there’s more than in the other games.”
That included Ryan McDougall of Las Vegas, standing near the glass before warm-ups began, who said Golden Knights fans are a bit of a novelty on the road … at first.
“In Winnipeg, we were like Kim Kardashian before the game. Literally everyone wanted to take a picture with us. After the game, when we won? We were O.J. Simpson. We had to get in the white Bronco and get the hell out of dodge because we were not popular,” he said with a laugh.
He expected the same in D.C.
“These guys have been 20 years without a Cup game. We’ve had one. So they’re pissed at us because we had it so easy,” he said.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 3, 2018
During pregame festivities for Game 3, a few Knights jerseys and gold jackets dotted the crowd at Capital One Arena. You couldn’t hear a thing from the Vegas fans when the Knights players were lustily booed during introductions. But during the national anthem, after the Capitals fans did their traditional shout of the word “red,” the Vegas fans could be heard upholding their own tradition, screaming “night!”
Washington ended up winning Game 3, 3-1. Game 4 is Monday back in Washington.