Staples Center to host unprecedented sports weekend

As part of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes this Sunday (game starts at Noon – Kings currently lead the series 2-0 with Game 3 set for Thursday night at STAPLES Center at 6 p.m.), the Kings and STAPLES Center are encouraging fans to plan ahead.

Beginning this Thursday when the Kings host the Coyotes, and concluding on Sunday night, May 20, at 7:30 p.m. when the Clippers host the San Antonio Spurs for the second time in two days for Game 4 of the NBA’s Western Conference Semifinals, Los Angeles, L.A. LIVE and STAPLES Center will host more NHL and NBA playoff games, not to mention America’s biggest professional cycling race, than any location or region in U.S. sports history. 

KINGS FANS

The Kings have announced that STAPLES Center will open its doors early on Sunday morning inviting their ticketed fans to enter the arena as early as 9 a.m.  Beginning then  ticketholders inside STAPLES Center will be served free coffee and doughnuts until 10:30 a.m., special TEAM LA special merchandise offers until 10:30 a.m., including a free LA Kings Playoff Hockey Puck with any purchase; and autograph booths with fan favorites like Ian Laperriere and Marty McSorley.  Fans of all ages with game tickets can visit a specially created Fun Zone inside STAPLES Center featuring games, interactive activities, meet and greets with Bailey and the Ice Crew, face painting and more.  STAPLES Center’s Panasonic Live 4HD scoreboard video screens will replay great games in Kings history, including clips from the current run throughout the morning.

“It is an exciting time for everybody associated with the Kings, AEG and our fans, and it is an exciting and busy time for STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE,” said Kings President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille.  “At the same time we want all of our fans to get to the arena in a safe manner and we are taking this opportunity to provide as much information as we can leading up to Sunday morning in particular.”

In between now and Sunday evening will be Games 3 and 4 of the NBA’s other Western Conference Semifinal series between the Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder, Game 4 of the Kings vs. Coyotes match-up and Game 3 of the Clippers vs. Spurs series not to mention the overall finish (right in front of STAPLES Center) of the final stage of the 8-day, 750-mile Amgen Tour of California cycling road race featuring the world’s top professional cyclists.

As if the impressive schedule of championship professional sporting events isn’t enough, anyone in the general public who has a bicycle is invited to participate in the “Nissan Ride Before the Pros” 5-mile bike ride taking place from 8 – 9:30 a.m. on the same downtown Los Angeles course that the professional riders will race on just minutes later.  Free of charge, fans who sign up at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/Nissan will be permitted to ride their bikes on the downtown portion of the closed course to experience the race conditions that the world-class cyclists will go thru later in the morning. 

PLAN AHEAD FOR SUNDAY

While fans are always encouraged to plan extra travel and parking time when attending sold-out playoff games, those planning to line the streets of downtown to watch the Amgen Tour of California cycling race on Sunday, which finishes on Figueroa Street at Chick Hearn Court/11th Street at approximately 11:45 a.m., or attending the Kings game should visit the STAPLES Center, Kings (LAKings.com) or L.A. LIVE websites to learn about street closures and detours associated with the bike race. 

Parking will be available at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Lots 5 & 6 (normal parking rates apply) located off of Hoover Street, where the LA Kings will provide free shuttles that will run from 8:30 a.m. until one hour after the hockey game’s conclusion.

In addition to the MTA Red Line, which brings fans to 7th and Figueroa and the Blue Line which drops off one block from STAPLES Center at Flower and Pico, the MTA just opened their new Expo Line that also brings riders to the Pico Station across from STAPLES Center.  Each of the lines can accommodate passengers with bicycles.  For more details on the new Expo Line and other Metro services please visit www.metro.net.

Pedestrian bridges for fans wishing to cross Figueroa Street on foot have been erected at Figueroa Street just North of Chick Hearn Court/11th Street (same street) and Figueroa Street just North of Pico Blvd.

In addition to the great festivities taking place early at STAPLES Center, many L.A. LIVE Restaurants are opening early to accommodate, including: The Farm of Beverly Hills, LA Market, Lawrys, Yardhouse and ESPN Zone.

SUNDAY STREET CLOSURES
With thousands expected to participate in the free “Nissan Ride Before the Pros,” there will be street closures and detours to ensure a safe experience for fans, riders and those arriving for the Kings game.

In particular, fans driving to STAPLES Center should be aware that street closures closest to STAPLES Center on Sunday will include:
•    Figueroa Street from Pico Blvd. to Olympic Blvd
•    Chick Hearn Court from Flower Street to Georgia Street
•    Pico Blvd. from Flower Street to Figueroa Street
•    Flower Street from Pico Blvd. to 11th Street
•    Olympic Blvd. from Figueroa Street to Olive Street
•    Olive Street, North of Olympic Blvd.
•    11th Street from Flower Street to Hill Street
•    Hill Street, North of 11th Street

All of the above streets will be re-opened prior to the end of the Kings game.

Pedestrian bridges for fans wishing to cross Figueroa Street on foot have been erected at Figueroa Street just North of Chick Hearn Court/11th Street (same street) and Figueroa Street just North of Pico Blvd.

All six NBA and NHL playoff games, including Saturday and Sunday STAPLES Center “doubleheaders” and the Amgen Tour of California will be broadcast live on U.S. network television and to millions more thru International networks of affiliates focusing worldwide attention yet again on Los Angeles and the best of professional sports.

FULL SCHEDULE AND QUICK FACTS
•    Thursday, May 17th at 6:00 p.m. – Kings vs. Phoenix Coyotes (Game 3 – NBCSN)
•    Friday, May 18th at 7:30 p.m. –  Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 3)
•    Saturday, May 19th at 12:30 p.m. – Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs (Game 3)
•    Saturday, May 19th at 7:30 p.m. –  Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 4)
•    Sunday, May 20th (from 10:10-11:45 a.m. – Amgen Tour of California (beginning on Rodeo Drive and entering downtown 5-mile circuit at approximately 10:35)
•    Sunday, May 20th from 8-9:30 a.m. – “Nissan Ride Before the Pros” (taking place on a closed 5-mile course from Temple & Spring Sts. to STAPLES Center)
•    Sunday, May 20th at Noon – Kings vs Phoenix Coyotes (Game 4 – NBC)
•    Sunday, May 20th at 7:30 p.m. – Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs
•    STAPLES Center has done 127 doubleheader conversions in 13 seasons. In the 2011-12 season the arena has hosted 19 doubleheaders so far (this weekend will make it 21).
•    Converting from Hockey Ice to Basketball Court takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete.
•    Converting from Basketball Court to Basketball Court takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete
•    The double header conversion team consists of 35 workers on the event floor with an additional 125 members of a cleaning crew to clean the one million square foot arena.  There are also workers in the catering, broadcast and event services departments participating in the conversion.
•    STAPLES Center has 168 Suites and 53 Refreshment Stands
•    On Sunday, May 20, the Kings will have 20,000 fans at STAPLES Center for 12:00 p.m. game; The Amgen Tour of California anticipates more than 30,000 fans along the race route from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and the Los Angeles Convention Center will have two conferences that will host more than 18,000 guests. Fans are encouraged to leave plenty of time when heading to STAPLES Center or L.A. LIVE and to use pubic transportation.

It will be an unprecedented four days, not only for the fans of the Kings, Clippers, Lakers and International pro cycling but for a City that has long considered itself to be the sports capital of America.

“This is an unprecedented weekend for STAPLES Center and Los Angeles.  Hosting 6 playoff games in 4 days is something no other arena in the country has ever had the opportunity to do,” Lee Zeidman, Sr. Vice President and General Manger, STAPLES Center, Nokia Theatre and L.A. LIVE. “We are looking forward to an exciting weekend with all three teams playing and having the prestigious Amgen Tour of California cycling race going through the streets of downtown Los Angeles and L.A. LIVE. We encourage Kings ticketholders and Amgen Tour of California fans to plan their route to STAPLES Center and leave plenty of time to get downtown on Sunday, May 20th.”