Goodman: It Isn't Just Surreal; It's Spiritual

The Golden Knights have captivated Las Vegas all season, Mayor Carolyn Goodman says

May 23, 2018 - 8:31 am

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When Golden Knights owner Bill Foley told Las Vegas Major Carolyn Goodman that he wanted hockey in Sin City, Goodman didn’t know what to think.

“Here we are in the desert – the only ice we knew about was ice in the martini,” Goodman said on Ferrall on the Bench. “But it’s just been great.”

Indeed, the Golden Knights, having reached the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season, are the darlings of the NHL. They will face the winner of Washington versus Tampa Bay, which square off in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday.

Whatever happens in the Stanley Cup, the Golden Knights have brought tremendous joy to Las Vegas.

“This is the greatest city,” Goodman said. “This is the most exciting place. Every single day is something new and wonderful. What a great time for us all after being brought absolutely down to our knees on 1 October and losing those beautiful people. And now rising out of this, this inspirational group of guys and Bill Foley and (team president) Kerry (Bubolz) and (general manager) George McPhee and (head coach) Gerard (Gallant) – it’s just such an awesome time. It’s surreal. In fact, it’s beyond that. It’s almost spiritual for us all. I know communities unfortunately around the country and around the world have suffered such devastation, and then to have this happen (is incredible).”

Goodman credits her husband, Oscar, for realizing the potential of pro sports in Las Vegas. He reached out to NHL and NBA commissioners Gary Bettman and David Stern almost 20 years ago to inquire about bringing a team to Vegas.

“We’ve remained very good friends with David and now moving on to Adam Silver,” Goodman said. “The poor man, I know he hates seeing my phone number come up on his cell phone, but I am on his back constantly. It’s nirvana out here. Even though sports books are legalized in 32 or 39 states, we know what we’re doing. We’ve been doing gambling and monitoring it for years. But the reality is Oscar saw early on how ready we were for major league sports because he was raised and grew up in the Philadelphia area.”

Goodman, meanwhile, is from New York.

“I saw Don Larson’s perfect game,” she said. “I remember growing up going to Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium, right there in the heart of New York. We’re just avid sports fans. This is so special. But I give total credit to my husband for reaching out early on.”

When Goodman, 79, arrived in Vegas, her first job was at the Riviera, which Al Davis and his wife would often frequent.

“They loved Vegas,” Goodman said. “It’s fabulous now to see the final penny drop to the floor (with the NFL) bringing the Raiders in here.”