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Los Angeles Kings HockeyFest 09 Looks Like A Hit

Logo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles area hockey fans got a head start on the beginning of the 2009-10 hockey season this past weekend with the Los Angeles Kings wrapping up their inaugural HockeyFest on Sunday.

The event, which was held at the Nokia Theatre at LA Live, began on Friday evening and concluded late Sunday afternoon.

The weekend of events included several well-received panel discussions featuring current Kings players, front office staff and alumni, along with a large tent filled with hockey-related games for kids and adults alike and several exhibits, including all of the National Hockey League’s award trophies, except for the Stanley Cup.

HockeyFest 09 was highlighted by Saturday’s panel featuring the famed Triple Crown Line of Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor along with Sunday’s panel featuring long-time play-by-play announcer Bob Miller.

HockeyFest 09 drew a significant number of fans who were immersed in all things Kings and it appears that the event was a success. Read more of this post

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Los Angeles Kings HockeyFest 2009 Opens

LOS ANGELES — The dreaded lull is coming to an end.

For hockey fans, the period immediately following the July 1 unrestricted free agent signing spree through the opening of National Hockey League team training camps is usually so slow in terms of news that desperate hockey fans will eat up just about anything that’s published or broadcast, no matter how ridiculous, outlandish or just downright phony it might be.

Logo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

Thankfully, we are now about one week away from the opening of rookie camps across the league, with training camps opening a week later.

Here in the Los Angeles area, hockey fans are getting a head start on ending the dreaded lull.

For all of you Los Angeles Kings fans out there, unless you’ve been marooned on a deserted island, stuck in the middle of the Sahara Desert, on a long backpack trip through a wilderness area, or just taking a vacation from all things hockey, you have certainly seen and heard the total media blitz (television commercials, radio spots, Kings officials talking it up on radio interviews, newspaper and web stories) about the Los Angeles Kings HockeyFest 2009. Read more of this post

From The Archives: Staples Center: Who, What And Where, Past, Present And Future

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: The following is a portion of an op-ed and analysis piece I wrote back on October 20, 1999, when Staples Center first opened. It was originally published on the Online Kingdom and is being re-published here as a response to what looked an awful lot like a paid infomercial advertising LA Live, the huge entertainment/retail complex directly across from Staples Center that was built on top of a couple of former Staples Center parking lots. This promo piece aired on Sunday night, January 11, 2009, following the UCLA vs. USC basketball game on FSN Prime Ticket.

During the program, Tim Leiweke, President/CEO of the Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Los Angeles Kings, Staples Center and LA Live, said that through the building of LA Live (and Staples Center, since the land LA Live was built on was acquired and razed as part of the building of Staples Center), AEG turned a decaying part of Downtown Los Angeles that was filled with liquor stores and other run-down businesses into the thriving entertainment area that it is today.

Leiweke would not be wrong about that and I am not saying that AEG should be demonized for their development efforts in Downtown Los Angeles. But ever since the construction of Staples Center and throughout the creation of LA Live, there has been virtually no recognition of the sacrifices made by those who were forced out of the area.

This story was published during all the gushing, ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the opening of the then-brand new arena to provide some balance. It is being re-published now in that very same spirit.


MONTEREY PARK, CA — After 31 seasons at the Great Western Forum, the Los Angeles Kings will play their first-ever game on Wednesday at the brand-spanking new Staples Center, their 1999-2000 home opener against the Boston Bruins.

Before this potentially spectacular night could take place, it took a couple of years worth of negotiations, political wrangling, lots of wheeling and dealing, eighteen months of record-breaking construction by hundreds of workers and $375 million from owners Philip Anschutz and Ed Roski, Jr., along with various corporations such as Staples and Fox, to get the new arena built in Downtown Los Angeles next to the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The new arena is a state-of-the-art facility, one where Kings fans (along with fans of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers) will be able enjoy the game more than at the aging Forum, along with more choices for food and refreshments, among all the other amenities never before seen here in the Los Angeles area.

In order to bring this new facility to Los Angeles sports fans, a lot of people had to make tremendous sacrifices. We have heard a lot about the nearly endless work put in by Staples Center officials as well as the long hours put in by construction workers who toiled until near midnight, six days a week, in order to complete construction in time for them to open the new building last weekend.

There have been numerous articles and stories in the local broadcast and print media about how incredible Staples Center is and how the new arena could be the catalyst to revitalizing the economy in Downtown Los Angeles. Most of these stories glow and gush about the new arena.

This article is very different. In this article, we will examine who and what was at the Staples Center site prior to construction. Read more of this post

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