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SBD/October 19, 2011/Franchises
NHL Kings Looking To Steal Spotlight In L.A. With NBA Lockout Ongoing
Published October 19, 2011
The NHL Kings “already got comfortable being the only gig at Staples Center for their home opener against” the Blues yesterday, according to Jill Painter of the Long Beach PRESS-TELEGRAM. The team “wowed” the sellout crowd of 18,118 with a 5-0 win. The outside of the arena “was covered with a huge black banner with ‘LA Kings’ on it, in letters bigger than Staples Center.” Kings coach Terry Murray said, “It's unfortunate the NBA is not up and running. We can hopefully be the benefactor of that. Get the spotlight on us and take advantage of that opportunity to leave a mark with our season and play well and do the right things for the city of L.A.” The players were introduced “with new laser lights, walked through a cardboard castle door and skated onto the ice under a new LED board with each" player's name on it. Even the pregame routine “received a makeover.” Kings LW Dustin Penner said of getting more media attention, "I'm sure we will, for lack of entertainment with the Lakers gone. But I don't think we've had a shortage of fans. I don't know if we'll notice it, but ESPN, they've got to fill that slot." Kings season-tickets sales are “up 1,500 over last year and single-game ticket sales up” 49.9%. The Kings “are painting the town in black, silver and white with a new ad campaign, dubbed: ‘The time is now.’” The campaign includes “team and player-driven billboards” featuring RW Dustin Brown, D Drew Doughty, C Mike Richards, G Jonathan Quick, D Jack Johnson and C Anze Kopitar. Most “are digitized, and each player is supposed to get face time on billboards this year” (Long Beach PRESS TELEGRAM, 10/19).