Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 | 2 a.m.
Chris Francis doesn’t surprise people when he tells them he’s a professional hockey player — unless he adds where he’s from in the sentence. Francis is 100 percent Las Vegas, which isn’t known for producing hockey players or for having a quality youth hockey system. But Francis, who was born and raised in the valley, and is a prominent member of the Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team, is bucking that trend. “They’re shocked. They say, ‘It’s pretty cool that you’re still doing it,’” said Francis, who has scored 12 goals and has seven assists in 29 games played this season. ...
The Orleans Arena, a Boyd Gaming facility located just west of the Las Vegas Strip, is one of the nation’s leading mid-sized arenas, and was recently ranked No. 1 in the United States and No. 5 internationally among venues of similar size by Venues Today Magazine.
The Arena hosts more than 200 events each year, including concerts by top names like Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Van Halen, Brooks & Dunn, Black Eyed Peas, Akon and Rihanna; family favorites like The Harlem Globetrotters and Circus Spectacular; and a wide variety of sporting events, including NCAA basketball tournaments, the West Coast Conference and Western Athletic Conference Basketball Championships, mixed martial arts with Superior Cage Combat, and major motorsports events.
The arena serves as home to the Las Vegas Wranglers professional ECHL hockey team, the Las Vegas Legends professional indoor soccer team, and the Lingerie Football League’s Las Vegas Sin. Stay connected to the Orleans Arena on Facebook (www.facebook.com/orleansarena) and on Twitter (@orleansarena).