By ALAN SNEL
His nickname is the “Poster Child” because of his penchant for collecting Golden Knights game day posters at T-Mobile Arena and then getting them adorned with signatures from Knights players after practices at the training rink in Summerlin.
And Joey Totaro has no problem with the Golden Knights’ new policy of allowing only kids who are 14 years old and younger to get player autographs in a designated area of the rink at City National Arena, the team’s practice center and headquarters.
“Children go first,” said Totaro, a season ticket holder who is at tonight’s Golden Knights-New York Islanders game.”I love it. It’s a great idea. The kids should always come first.”
The team has also banned autograph seekers from swarming players’ cars as they leave the practice arena.
And Totaro agrees with that, too.
“It’s a safety factor,” Totaro said.
Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz cracked down this week on adults who were muscling the kids out to snag player autographs, imposing a new rule to limit the autographs to the kids at City National Arena.
“All we’re saying is that the kids are the priority,” Bubolz told LVSportsBiz.com before tonight’s Golden Knights game.
Bubolz said if there’s only 10 kids or so and they get all the autographs they want, then adults will be allowed to get the player signatures in an orderly way.
But the autograph mob scenes and adults boxing out kids to snag the signatures are over. The autograph craze is a function of the unexpected success of the first-year expansion franchise, which has the most points in the West.
VGK Chief Marketing Officer Brian Killingsworth said the problem became apparent over Christmas break and the team had to take action after officials saw kids were getting pushed out of the way by adults for the autographs.
The autographed game player posters are becoming lucrative as ambitious memorabilia sellers are hawking the signed posters for $60 a pop on eBay.
The Golden Knights are also cracking down on fans at T-Mobile Arena who grab too many free game posters, limiting only one poster per fan and keeping a worker at the poster table to monitor the stacks of posters in the arena main lobby.
A fan who didn’t like the new Golden Knights autograph policy said adult autograph seekers will use kids to get autographs for them. “A lot of people have already said that.”
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