By ALAN SNEL
Talk about a daunting — but potentially, fun — challenge.
It’s Jonny Greco’s job to create an arena entertainment and fan interaction package at Vegas Golden Knights games outside of the fast-paced, hard-hitting action on the ice.
The challenging part is that Greco is programming entertainment for the first-year Golden Knights in the entertainment capital of the world.
A lot of NHL teams have pep squads with young women and men merrily holding their teams’ flags in section aisles, stage contests during breaks in the action, have an organist piping out tunes and play loud rock music during key parts of games.
Greco, Golden Knights vice president for events and entertainment, said the key is balancing the modern Vegas bling with traditional hockey entertainment staples.
“We’ll be throwing a lot of spaghetti at the walls and seeing what sticks,” Greco said. “It’s exploratory right now. It’s an exciting level of expectations.”
In all, Greco will oversee more than 50 people, ranging from camera and replay guys to ice-crew supporters who will clean the ice to promo team performers. For example, Greco envisions the ice crew performers to be dressed in some sort of medieval Knights-themed costumes with a dash of Vegas pizzazz thrown in.
Anyone who wants to perform on the promo team and ice crew can attend auditions on Aug. 23 and 24 at City National Arena, the Golden Knights’ training center on Pavilion Center Drive across from Red Rock Resort in Summerlin.
Candidates hoping to sing the National Anthem before Golden Knights games can try out during the first week of September at T-Mobile Arena, Greco said. The team is already vetting hundreds of singers vying to sing the anthem, he said.
Greco has a diverse sports and WWE background. He worked for the Marlins in Major League Baseball as a producer/editor; the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets as video production manager; the NFL, NBA and Olympics on special events and the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers from 2004-11.
Greco said the Golden Knights entertainment package will be original, tapping into both the Knights and Vegas themes. For example, Greco will look at traditional hockey entertainment fare such as having an organist. He will also evaluate the possibility of having a DJ at games in light of the fact that Vegas is known for its DJs.
And there will not be any down time, he said.
“Everything we do, we want to make it a moment,” Greco said.
He’s also open to listening to fans — and he hopes the performers on the ice crew and promo teams are uber Golden Knights fans who want to share their enthusiasm with everyone else in the arena.
There are also mascots to consider — wonder if that character will look like a knight?
Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com