VIP Experience at 2017 NHL Awards & Vegas Expansion Draft – Courtesy of SPG Moments

Another SPG Moments experiences is in the books.

I won SPG Moments “Be the ultimate VIP at the 2017 NHL Awards” auction! It’s my third SPG Moments auction win; I’ve also been privileged enough to attend the 2017 NHL All-Star Game in LA and 2016 NHL All-Star Game in Nashville.

I’m a big hockey fan so I’m always on the look out for cool once-in-a-lifetime experiences like the NHL Awards on SPG Moments. In fact, it’s the number one reason I enjoy collecting Starpoints.

The bidding for this auction was fierce and cost a lot more Starpoints than I was expecting to use. I’d never been to NHL Awards before and really wanted to go this year because of the Vegas Expansion Draft. All in all, I ended up spending 73,001 Starpoints for the VIP package and paid for my own flight and hotel.

The 2017 NHL Awards™ VIP Experience package included:

  • Two (2) playing spots in the NHL Partner Golf Outing prior to the NHL Awards on the morning of 21 June, followed by brunch
  • Access for two (2) to walk the red carpet prior to the NHL Awards
  • Access for two (2) to watch the NHL Awards rehearsal for up to one (1) hour
  • Two (2) tickets to the 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on 21 June
  • Two (2) tickets to the private NHL Awards Party, immediately following the show

It was an incredible trip and something I’ll never forget. Memories for a lifetime.

DAY 1:

We stayed at Encore Las Vegas because the NHL entourage was based there, and that was where all the players stayed. We saw lots of players/coaches/GM’s/NHL executives, and media personal whenever we walked around the hotel.

The VIP experience started off with a private backstage tour of the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas during rehearsals. The arena is conveniently located just off the Vegas strip right by the Monte Carlo hotel. The arena was spectacular and is one of the nicest arenas I’ve been to. I can’t wait to watch a live NHL game there one day.

After the tour, we went back to the Encore to attend the NHL Media Conference. It was very cool to see so many star players all in one room. We got to meet all of the following players there: Johnny Gaudreau, Mark Giordano, Auston Matthews, Carey Price, Erik Karlsson, Patrik Laine, Nick Foligno, Travis Hamonic etc.

Mark Giordano and Johnny Gaudreau (Lady Byng) from the Calgary Flames

Johnny Gaudreau’s my favourite player in the league so you can imagine how excited I was to meet him and get his autograph – very nice guy. BTW he said he absolutely loves playing in Calgary and in front of the C of Red.

Erik Karlsson (Nominee for Best Defenceman) from the Ottawa Senators

 

Auston Matthews (Rookie of the Year) from the Toronto Maple Leafs
#31 Carey Price (nominee for Best Goaltender) from the Montreal Canadiens

Immediately after the NHL Press Conference, we attended the NHL & Adidas Jersey Unveil Party at the Intrigue Nightclub at the Wynn. It was the launch of the new Adizero jersey’s for all 30 NHL teams including the Vegas Golden Knights.

It was a fun party – open bar, hosted by comedian Russell Peters and included a special performance by rapper Desiigner, who went full out to put on an amazing show. Adidas set up a locker room to allow guests to examine the jerseys up close and try them on. They were also generous enough to give away some swag bags after the party (Adidas backpack, 3 Adizero shirts and a hat).

Vegas Golden Knights unveils new jersey
Comparing the Flames new Adidas and old Reebok jersey (front)
Comparing the Flames new Adidas and old Reebok jersey (back)
Saw Gaudreau at the party and he signed our jersey!
Thanks Adidas for the free swag!

After the Adidas party, we went back to the hotel to change and go to the Coolers Light NHL Awards party at the Hyde Nightclub at Bellagio. The place was packed and we saw a couple players.

Coolers Light NHL Awards Party at Hyde Bellagio

DAY 2:

The package included 2 playing spots at the NHL Partner Golf Outing at Bali Hai Golf Club located just off the Vegas Strip. We had to wake up early to make our 6:45am tee time. Vegas had an extreme heat warning while we were there. It was sizzling hot! We happened to golf on the hottest day – 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit)! I’m from Canada so I’m not used to that kind of heat. The goal of the round was to make it out alive and drink a lot of water (we each drank 10 bottles of water and stopped playing after 16 holes). It was a beautiful course with views of the Las Vegas strip Hotels in the background. We were treated to a nice brunch after the round in the club house and lots of NHL golf swag (NHL golf balls, tees, cooler bag, etc).

Bali Hai Golf Club in Vegas

After our round of golf, we went back to the hotel and took an hour’s nap before we had to get ready and suit up for NHL Awards.

What an amazing experience! We got to walk down the Red (Magenta) Carpet with the players. It was a surreal experience and a glimpse of what it feels like to be a famous hockey player or celebrity.

After walking the Red Carpet, we got to hangout in the VIP tent with the Stanley Cup.

Got to kiss the Stanley Cup!

After hanging out in the VIP tent, we hung around the Media area where we got up close and personal with NHL legends and superstars.

On the Red (Magenta) Carpet at NHL Awards
Brent Burns, Mark Messier, Braden Holtby, and Patrik Laine
#99 Wayne Gretzky
#97 Connor McDavid (Won the Hart, Art Ross, & Ted Lindsay Award) from the Edmonton Oilers
#87 Sidney Crosby from the Stanley Cup Champions Pittsburgh Penguins

After that, we finally headed to our seats to watch the NHL Awards and Expansion draft. We got prime floor seats near the front. We sat on the aisle around 10 rows directly behind Sidney Crosby. All the players walked by us on their way to their seats.

Floor seats at NHL Awards

NHL Awards and Expansion Draft was a big production show and a lot of fun to watch. The arena was packed with about 16,000 fans. Needless to say, the Vegas Golden Knight fans were ecstatic when they selected goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

After the show, we got to attend the private NHL Awards after-party at the Park Theater across the street from T-Mobile Arena. It featured an open bar,  plenty of delicious hors d’oeuvres and there were lots of NHL executives to grace the occasion.

Summary

What an incredible hockey experience! Meeting hockey legends and superstars and walking the Red Carpet with hockey MVP’s was the highlight of the trip, and something I’ll never forget. This is why I love travel hacking so much because it gives you the opportunity to experience things money can’t buy. I can’t thank SPG and the NHL enough for yet another unforgettable experience. I look forward to winning even more SPG Moments in the future.

You too can win the next SPG Moments auction; all you have to do is start collecting Starpoints now. You can get a hefty bonus of 20,000 SPG Starpoints just by signing up for the American Express Starwood SPG Card today.

Thanks to the Amex Starwood SPG Card, it only took me a few months to accumulate 73,ooo Starpoints. I got 20,000 Starpoints for signing up for the Amex Starwood SPG Card and another 50,000 Starpoints for referring 5 friends/family to sign-up for the card too (you get 10,000 bonus Starpoints for each friend/family you refer to this card).

 SPG Personal Card

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express This is the best card to earn Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints, considered in some circles as the most valuable loyalty currency.

It comes with a nice sign-up bonus of 20,000 Welcome Bonus Starpoints when you charge $1,500 in purchases to your card within first three months of card membership –  enough points for up to 5 Free Nights Hotel at a Category 2 property! It has a reasonable $120 annual fee, and a low annual income requirement of $15,000.

Apply Now