Photos: Sorry Detroit, Las Vegas is the new Hockeytown

The New York-New York Hotel & Casino's 150-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty wears a gigantic Golden Knights sweater in support of the team. Mikayla Whitmore for ESPN

The Vegas Golden Knights have proved the skeptics wrong -- plenty of support can be found for a major professional sports team in Sin City. Fueled by a loyal local fan base, as well as curious tourists, the crowds have been unwavering throughout the regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs.

"The Knights are our first pro team outside the [Las Vegas] 51s. But more importantly, the first major team to play after October 1," says fan Rick Williams. "I still get emotional thinking about it all. I do not think anyone thought we would be sitting here in May still watching. 'Hashtag Vegas Born' says it all in this case.

"The hockey organization has done a bang-up job, and the players have embraced the city. When you saw these guys at all the blood drives and events after the shooting, it really had an impact. Plus, look at all the families and people the sport is bringing together."

After sweeping past the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the playoffs, the Golden Knights took six games to defeat the San Jose Sharks en route to the Western Conference finals. And the fans in Vegas have been behind them every step of the way.