The Kings have proudly called Los Angeles their home since the 1966-67 season. With many other professional teams in the southland, the Kings have developed a fierce and passionate following. Even with their recent run and their 2 Stanley Cups, the passion of their loyal following should not be overlooked, especially in a market where 10 other teams, including the Chargers folks, call the southland home.
In a region that has an average annual temperature of 72 degrees, it would seem challenging to build a following for a sport played on ice. The fans and the city have more than embraced their Kings and make the Staples Center an intimidating place for any opponent to play.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
With so many dining options just outside of the arena, fans may not initially consider the offering inside Staples Center. Just like the Los Angeles food scene, the concessions inside offer lots of variety in its entrees on both the main concourse and upper level concourse.
For those wanting something to snack on Popcornopolis has its signature kettle, caramel, zebra, and jalapeno cheddar flavors priced at $6-$7 throughout the arena.
Blaze Pizza offers $12 personal pizzas (BBQ Chicken, Veggie or Pepperoni) as well as Chicken Caesar and Kale & Quinoa salads.
Standard arena fare such as hot dogs, chips, nachos and bottomless popcorn are also available. One of my favorites is the Skyscraper Dog, a 12 inch beef half pounder certain to satisfy the heartiest eater. Beverages to satisfy are Coke products, with the option for bottomless refills, bottled and vitamin water, and ICEE products for those young hockey fans.
If you're looking for something beyond your typical dog, Tap Haus serves up Brats, Bockwurst and Chicken Apple Sausage Sandwiches along with a wide selection of craft beer. Several other bars and stands are located throughout both the upper and main concourse serving up your standard Budweiser products along with a wide variety of craft beers and specialty drinks. Dave's Doghouse Dogs and Goose Island stands serve up specialty dogs from the popular Mac N' Cheese Dog (Three Cheese Mac, Bacon Bits and Old Fashioned Yellow Mustard) to the FRITOS Pie Dog (loaded all beef hot dog with chili, shredded Cheddar cheese and FRITOS Original Corn Chips); and Mac & Cheesy Dog (loaded all beef hot dog with macaroni and cheese topped with CHEETOS Crunchy Cheese Snacks). Of course the Goose Island stand serves up their line of craft beers as well.
If you're looking for a place to sit and dine inside the arena before the game, Draft Kings Fantasy Sports Bar & Lounge is located by the Star Plaza entrance across the street from L.A Live, with a wide beer selection as well as Dogs from Dave's Doghouse and other appetizers.
For the less adventurous, a McDonald's is located in both the main and upper level concourse, offering many of its traditional options.
Originally an expansion franchise in 1967, the Kings are now a mainstay of the NHL. Before calling the Staples Center home, the Kings had a few other stops throughout the greater Los Angeles area. The Kings played their first game under the roof of the Long Beach Arena, former home of the Long Beach 49ers. Other games during the team's first two months of existence were played at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena until finally opening their permanent home at the Los Angeles Forum. For 32 years, the Kings would host the balance of the NHL there until moving to the Staples Center for the 1999-2000 season. On October 22, 1999 Los Angeles would officially welcome the NHL and the Kings to downtown. The Staples Center was quickly built on an 18 month schedule at a cost of roughly $300 million. While the seating varies for other tenants such as the Lakers , Clippers and Sparks, the hockey capacity is listed at 18,118.
Before fans even set foot on the terrazzo floors in the arena, a rather exciting vibe is generated from simply walking around the arena and taking in the sights at Star Plaza across the street from LA Live. For any given game, you'll find crowds surrounding the arena taking photos of the statues and trying to get their faces on many of the live tapings outside of the gates.
After every King's goal, you'll hear the goal horn followed by Randy Newman's song "I Love LA." Soon after, you'll hear a "Hey" song that is similar to "Crowd Chant" by Jose Satriani.
With so many transplants in the Los Angeles area, you'll find many opposing fans originally from different regions attending the games. This leads to some great banter during the game and seems to engage the Kings fans even more. It creates an exciting atmosphere from the first drop of the puck.
Of the 4 professional teams that call Staples home, the Kings just may have the most passionate fans.
Since its opening in 1999, the neighborhood surrounding the Staples Center has greatly developed. You hear of many development projects, but rarely do you see them come to fruition like this one. Sitting next to the convention center, the arena is part of the 4,000,000 square foot L.A. LIVE.
This area includes the Nokia Plaza, which you'll often find filled with fans before or after the game. Not far away is the Nokia Theater which has hosted the ESPY Awards, American Idol, the Emmy Awards, and the MTV Music Video Awards.
Also nearby is the Grammy Museum, the Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott Hotels, a 14-screen movie theater, and the ESPN Los Angeles broadcasting studio.
Part of the LA Live complex is the Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge. This spot is far from the grimy bowling lane you may have become accustomed to in the past. A rather upscale bowling alley, you'll find all of your favorite drinks here and comfort that few bowling alleys can offer.
Other notable spots nearby include Yard House (200+ beer options), Wolfgang Puck (contemporary bar and grill), Fleming's (aim for the best wine and food pairings), Rock N' Fish (try the Navy grog and oak grilled artichoke), Rosa Mexicana, Farm of Beverly Hills, La Bella Cucina (informal Italian), Lawry's Carvery (known for its prime rib), Palm Restaurant (great seafood appetizers), or Katsuya (Japanese).
One of the Los Angeles food landmarks include The Pantry or Cafe Pantry. Fans of all walks love this place because they can get hearty meals 24 hours a day. In fact, they could have asked for a meal at pretty much any time over the past 88 years with the exception of one day (I'll let you do your own research on why it was closed that one day). Give yourself some time to check this place out as the lines often spill outside of the building and around the block. Please note however that this is a cash-only establishment.
Many traditional hockey fans will scoff at the Los Angeles based hockey following. This franchise has been maintained since 1967 with their minor league affiliate the Ontario Reign just 45 minutes away. Many accuse these fans of only being inspired after winning the Stanley Cup in 2012, but even before such success, the Staples Center was one of the league leaders in attendance.
With all the professional teams here in the southland, especially when compared to the ardent following of the Dodgers and Lakers, Kings fans are truly deserving of such high accolades. Prior to their recent run of success, in a venue where it's evident the Lakers, in spite of their recent struggles, are still 11th and Figueroa's top draw, Kings fans have consistently ranked among the NHL's attendance leaders since moving to Staples Center in 1999 and are among some of the loudest in the league.
There are many open concourses in the arena and they are extremely clean and spacious. If fans have to leave their seat, there are over 1,000 televisions throughout the arena that allow you to continue to follow the action.
The 100 and 200 levels are both accessible through the main concourse in the lower level. Fans with tickets in the 300 level can use one of two escalators or elevators from the lower level concourse. Fans fortunate enough to roll with the elite in the premier seats or any of the 3 levels of luxury suites can enter through one of two private entrances.
The Staples Center is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, accessible from the 10 and 110 freeways.
One of the beautiful things about the Staples Center is that the Pico Station is just a block from the arena and the 7th Street Station is just a short 10 minute walk away. Visit the Metro's Trip Planner site for more details.
There are roughly 3,300 parking spaces at Staples Center and approximately 16,000 privately owned spots within a five to ten minute walk. Parking prices can be as cheap as $5 and cost as much as $35.
The ticket prices in Los Angeles always seem to be a bit above the rest and the recent success of the Kings has not helped the cause. However, there still are certain nights especially early in the season where you can find tickets on third market sites for below face value.
A trip to see the Kings proves to be a great investment for both the seasoned hockey fan and the first-time viewer. I would definitely encourage those who do not enjoy watching hockey on television to try a game live, it's an undoubtedly better experience!
One of the fan favorite destinations during the in-between period breaks is the upper level patio on the north end. The views of the Downtown L.A. skyline along with L.A. Live is something fans admire as they shoot the breeze. However, I must warn you, fans love to blow smoke up here as well. The upper patio is also a designated smoke area so if the smell of cigarette smoke from hundreds of fans is detrimental to your health, you may want to steer clear.
On the main concourse, any fan can access a few of the additional items at the Staples Center. There is the Sports Museum at Staples Center, the Verizon Studio (get some free photos), Art of the Game Sports Art and Memorabilia Gallery, as well as an auction stand where fans can bid on your favorite memorabilia.
During the holidays, Kings fans can do some skating of their own on the makeshift ice rink in the center of LA Live. Possibly one of the most unique public skating rinks in all of America, fans can skate under all of the lights with the Staples Center in the background before or after the game.
Among the many bronze statues of Los Angeles greats in the Staples Center plaza, Wayne Gretzky stands closest to the doors. Prior to the game, you'll find many fans standing in line to get a photo with "The Great One."
However, if there is one L.A. King who may rank above The Great One in the hearts of longtime Kings fans, it would be Luc Robitaille. Luc would play 20 seasons, with 3 stints with the Kings, including their first Stanley Cup appearance in 1993. The 8 time all-star would play with 3 other teams along with a return to the Kings. LUUUUUUUUUUUUC, as fans still affectionately chant whenever he's in the building, would conclude his storied career with the Kings, setting the franchise record for goals with 577. Deservedly, Luc too has a statue out in Star Plaza that attracts plenty of fans.
But if there's one monument that all fans, regardless of what Staples Center event they're coming for, should check out is the 50th Anniversary Monument. The monument, for whatever reason may be, is not located at Star Plaza, instead, located a somewhat odd location outside the northwest entrance toward the Convention Center, various legends from each era, from Rogie Vachon up to present day Kings Jonathan Quick and Drew Doughty, are depicted in an impressive ice-like surface of both glass and granite are a backdrop to six white bronze figurative sculptures that lead into a water wall and green wall for visitors to reflect on all those thrilling moments of the past 50 years. Go ahead, toss a coin, make a wish. Who knows? Your team just may be hoisting Lord Stanley's Cup come June. A monument as impressive as that deserves to be in Star Plaza.
Throughout their 50 years of calling Los Angeles home, the Kings have played their home games in 4 different venues, from the Long Beach and L.A. Sports Arena, to The Forum in Inglewood to Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. For many of the Forum years, the Kings were a distant second behind the Lakers, both of whom were owned at one time by Jerry Buss. With the acquisition of Wayne Gretzky in 1988, the popularity of the Kings, along with hockey, slowly grew in Southern California. From 1967-72 and from 1980-93 the Kings were the one NHL team to play home games closest to the equator.
In their 50 years of existence, the Kings have had many memorable moments as well as plenty of down years. Some of those great moments include The Miracle on Manchester to The Frenzy on Figueroa to finally rewarding their loyal following with their first Stanley Cup in 2012.
Though professional ice hockey may not quite rank as high on most fans list here in L.A., a Kings game at The Staples Center should definitely be included in every sports fan's bucket list. One Kings game, and the notion that fans in a warm weather locale such as L.A. can't get excited for hockey will be all but forgotten.
Any other questions? Hit me up at Andrei.Ojeda@StadiumJourney.com. You can also follow me @good_drei on Twitter.
In 1967, a region known for its sandy beaches and year-round sunshine would be one of six that would be home to a new NHL franchise as the league began expanding.
As the team's permanent home was under construction, the Kings played their first game under the roof of the Long Beach Arena, former home of the Long Beach 49ers. Other games during the team's first two months of existence were played at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, near the Coliseum, until finally opening their permanent home at the Los Angeles Forum. For 32 years, the Kings would host the balance of the NHL there until moving to the Staples Center for the 1999-2000 season. On October 22, 1999 Los Angeles would officially welcome the NHL to and the Kings to downtown.
The Staples Center was quickly built on an 18 month schedule at a cost of roughly $300 million. While the seating varies for other tenants such as the Lakers and Clippers , the hockey capacity is listed at 18,118.
The arena is certainly a sight to be seen. Located on the southwest corner of 11th and Figueroa streets, the LA skyline is just minutes from the arena. The concrete surrounding it has silica carbide in it to give it a little sparkle and remind fans that they are in the home of the stars. With its sloping roofline and spotlights illuminating both the arena and surrounding LA Live, the Kings' home cannot be missed.
Los Angeles California is known as a lot of things to a lot of people. From 1988 - 1996 the most famous hockey player in the world was a resident. That's when Wayne Gretzky played for the Kings. During that time, it became known as a Hockey City. The Los Angeles Kings were one of the hottest tickets in town when #99 skated for them.
Since the Great One was traded, the LA Kings fell off the sports map to many.
The Kings are back to winning and are getting back on the sports landscape in Los Angeles. They are doing it in the place they call home; that home is The Staples Center. It's located off the 110 Freeway in Downtown Los Angeles.
The Kings certainly are not top of mind when it comes to many of the iconic Southern California sports franchises, but they are quickly making headway with the locals.
In a region that has an average annual temperature above 70 degrees, it would seem challenging to build a following for a sport played on ice. The fans and the city have however embraced their Kings and make the Staples Center an intimidating place for any opponent to play.
Was a great place to watch a hockey game. Was at Center Ice at the top of the upper deck. Lots of leg room. Nice fans. Cheap ticket (pre their first stanley cup) All in all a good trip. Ate before the game at the ESPN Restuarant. Nice big hockey store. Nice spacious arena. Pre game hype video and sequence was top notch and what you expect from an NHL team in California.
1111 South Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
877 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90017
800 W Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90015
800 W. Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90015
900 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90015
900 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90015