Blackout Games Really Grind My Gears
NHL rivals Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks go at it during the playoffs. Photo by Ben Margot/ AP Photo.

When normal seasons are going, I can understand doing blackout games for the region around the hockey team. They’re trying to encourage their fans to go to the games. Then for the fans that can’t go, they may purchase the NHL.TV to watch it. Besides the straight money grab, here’s another reason why blackout games really grind my gears.

I live in Reno, Nev. Many of the people here who have been raised as hockey fans are San Jose Shark fans. With the lack of professional sports teams in Nevada, many have chosen California teams as their teams.

I was one of the rare people that didn’t do that. So, when the Vegas Golden Knights opened up, I was over the moon. I could finally root for a professional team that I cared about. I was excited to watch their games and finally feel apart of the hockey community.

But then came the blackout games.

Some may be thinking, “Yeah that makes sense. They’re in Nevada, you’re in Nevada.” BUT NO.

It is an eight-hour drive to Las Vegas from Reno- almost seven and a half if you’re speeding through the desert. This means that people can’t go to the games unless you’ve got the money to go fly down for a weekend.

I’ll admit, in a regular year, I’ll go down to Vegas every couple of months for a fun weekend. But to go for every home game? Not possible.

I’ll put it in other terms. People can drive to San Jose and back in the time it would take to go to Vegas. All the Sharks fans can be rest assured that they can watch the games from the comfort of their own homes, or only drive four hours. While the VGK fans are left to root from a distance.

So, besides the push for a money grab by NHL, the local TV stations also need to be blamed. Why wouldn’t you want your city to root for your local sport? Just play the games!

The only thing I can be grateful for is the fact that VGK is good enough to make it to playoffs for me to watch their games.