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  • Paul Baker

Crypto.com Arena – Los Angeles Kings


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

Crypto.com Arena 1111 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90015

Los Angeles Kings website

Crypto.com Arena website


Year Opened: 1999

Capacity: 18,340


 

Royal Treatment

The Los Angeles Kings were a part of the National Hockey League’s “Second Six,” the league’s first expansion in 1967. Original owner Jack Kent Cooke chose the name “Kings” because he wanted his team to project “an air of royalty.” He outfitted the team in the royal colors of purple and gold and built a new arena, the Forum, as a home for his teams. The team played at the Forum in Inglewood for 32 years until moving to the new Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles in 1999.

In addition to serving as home to the Kings, the Staples Center is home to the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers as well as the WNBA’s Sparks. The privately financed arena cost $375 million to build.

The Kings have won two Stanley Cups over their history, in 2012 and 2014. 17 former players have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Note: The Staples Center name changed to Crypto.com Arena in Dec, 2021.

Food & Beverage 4

The Staples Center does not disappoint in terms of concessions, offering a wide variety of options for the hungry Kings fan. Among the offerings are Wahoo’s Tacos, LuDo Bird, Dave’s Doghouse, Wetzel’s Pretzels, Blaze Pizza and Salt & Char Burgers. Mixed in with traditional arena fare are uniquely southern California options such as fish tacos, ahi tuna poke nachos and sushi. Several stands offer kosher, vegetarian and vegan options. A complete listing of concession options at the Staples Center can be found here.

Coca-Cola products are featured at the Staples Center. In addition to national beer brands, local craft brews from Golden Road and Goose Island Breweries are for sale. The Figueroa Bar on the 100-level concourse offers a wide variety of draught beer, signature cocktails and specialty drinks.

Atmosphere 4

Visiting fans who come to the Staples Center expecting a Hollywood-style extravagant game day presentation might be disappointed by the fairly standard atmosphere at a Kings game. While the pregame show features some nice effects, there’s not a whole lot going on to separate the game day presentation here from others around the league.

Fans can feel safe bringing the family to a Kings game. Fans are enthusiastic but welcoming to visitors. Gates open a full 90 minutes before faceoff, so fans have plenty of time to explore the building if they choose. There’s an enthusiastic PA guy here keeping the crowd involved and a DJ spinning tunes during play stoppages. Giveaways and contests throughout the game target the younger and more casual fans in attendance. The large video board hanging at center ice is put to good use with stats, replays and social media shout outs.

Neighborhood 5

Los Angeles is one of the top cities in the nation for tourists, with a seemingly endless list of attractions, things to do and see. In the immediate area of the Staples Center, LA Live is located right across the street from the arena. Located here are several restaurants, hotels and attractions, including the Grammy Museum and the Microsoft Theater. During the holiday season a skating rink is set up in the Xbox Plaza here. On the other side of the Staples Center is the Los Angeles Convention Center.

For visiting fans looking for a place to stay while in town for a Kings game, there are numerous choices within walking distance of the arena.

Fans 4

Kings fans have come a long way since the days when the team’s original owner, Jack Kent Cooke said about the 300,000 ex-Canadians in southern California: “Now I know why they left Canada: They hate hockey!”

In other parts of the country fans often derisively refer to the late to arrive and early to leave fans of Los Angeles teams. While there is some truth to this reputation, not all fans at the Staples Center fit this description. While Kings fans may not be the most boisterous in the NHL, they have more than their share of dedicated, knowledgeable fans.

As the Kings’ fortunes on the ice have declined, so has the Kings’ place in the NHL’s attendance rankings. As of the writing of this review, the Kings rank in the bottom third of the league in terms of attendance. Over 17,000 fans per game pack the Staples Center, representing 93% of the building’s capacity.

Access 4

First things first, the mythical Los Angeles traffic is real. No matter where you may be coming from, give yourself some extra time to arrive at the Staples Center. Located adjacent to the Los Angeles Convention Center and the Interstate 10/Route 110 interchange, the facility is fairly easy to get to, traffic notwithstanding.

Staples Center’s location downtown ensures that there is plenty of parking nearby. There are over 10,000 parking spots within a ten-minute walk of the arena. For fans looking to avoid the hassle of LA traffic, public transportation is convenient to the area. The Metro Rail Pico Station is a short walk from the facility and several Metro Bus lines have stops near the Staples Center. Complete driving, parking and public transportation information can be found here.

There are four main entrances to the Staples Center, all of which empty onto the spacious main concourse. Escalators lead up to the club level and upper concourse. Restrooms are plentiful, clean and spacious.

Vomitories lead fans from the main concourse to the seating bowl. Fans in the 100 level walk down to their seats, fans in the 200 level walk up. On the 300 level, fans enter near the bottom of their sections. As is the case in many arenas, the seats in the upper level are very tight. If you are of a large frame, be prepared to have to squeeze into these very narrow seats with poorly positioned cup holders. Even though some of the upper level seats are far from the action, all seats have good views of the court.

Return on Investment 4

Depending on your budget, you should be able to find Kings tickets to fit your needs. The team uses variable pricing, meaning that you will pay more for weekend or premium games. Seats in the upper deck start at $42 and top out at around $68. Lower level seats begin at about $100 in the 200 level and $132 in the 100 level. Members of the military and students receive 50% off the price of tickets on single seats. The secondary market offers great deals for fans looking for a bargain.

Parking in the lots and garages around the Staples Center generally range in price from $15-$25. Concession prices are on the high side, but not out of line with other major facilities around the NHL.

A great way to save some money on getting to the Staples Center as well as to avoid the hassle of LA traffic is to use the Metro to get to the arena. A one-way fare is just $1.75, with a day pass priced at seven dollars.

Extras 3

An extra point for Star Plaza, located at the northeast entrance to Staples Center. Among the many statues in this plaza honoring notable athletes to perform here are bronze likenesses of Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille. Legendary Kings broadcaster Bob Miller is also honored with a statue in the plaza. A large statue commemorating the Kings’ Stanley Cup champion teams stands outside the northwest entrance.

Banners commemorating the six Kings’ retired numbers hang from the rafters of the Staples Center alongside banners honoring the two Kings’ Stanley Cup championships and several conference and division titles.

Murals on the interior walls commemorate significant moments in Staples Center history. Included among these murals are several honoring the Kings.

Final Thoughts

As the Kings look to rebuild after a solid decade near the top of the National Hockey League, some of the enthusiasm that was present at the Staples Center has disappeared. While southern California’s sunny skies and warm winter temperatures may not scream hockey to a northerner, the Staples Center remains a great venue for professional hockey.

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