The Los Angeles Kings will play their home opener Saturday against the Nashville Predators at Staples Center, preceded by a “Silver Carpet” entrance by the players, a Fan Fest and the debut of the team’s drum line.
Players are expected to arrive to Staples Center beginning as early as 11:30 a.m. for the 3 p.m. game. There will be live music and introductions of each player.
The Fan Fest begins at noon outside Staples Center along Chick Hearn Court and Xbox Plaza. It will feature a disc jockey, a beer garden and photo opportunities and autographs from 1-1:30 p.m. at the Toyota display.
The Fan Fest will also feature new Hockeywood display and #GKG Light-Up display for fans to take their photos with.
The LA Kings Drumline will make its debut at Fan Fest and provide entertainment during the game. The team’s mascot Bailey debuts an over-sized drum which he will use during games. The Season Ticket Member of the Game will participate in a Go Kings Go drum beat.
There will be a new organ and in-arena performance area for Dieter Ruehle located above Section 327.
Several new live interactive games giving fans the chance to compete against one another for prizes will also be introduced, including a hockey skills shootout-style game, skeeball, trivia and predictive/betting-style gaming.
There will be new interactive games available on the Kings mobile app that will give fans the chance to win prizes, playing in real time during Kings games and events within the app, plus the ability to play a few of these games in free-play mode.
Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 2:30 p.m. in time for player warm-ups. A special opening day ceremony featuring the 2019-20 Kings roster will take place just before the opening faceoff. Pia Toscano will sing the national anthem. The first of 20 show-opening-videos will be played at the home opener.
Changes at Staples Center include the Toyota Wall on the Main Concourse adjacent to the Team LA store across from Section 117-118 where fans can take their photo memorializing their visit to the arena; the Staples Center 20th anniversary light box on the Main Concourse across from Section 108 next to the Southeast VIP entrance that will be customized for every event allowing fans to take photos and share on social media; and a mural on the Main Concourse adjacent to the Box Office across from Section 114 painted by muralist Jonas Never celebrating record-setting and championship moments at Staples Center.
Food and beverage changes include:
— An updated Elyx Portables on Suite Levels B and C with expanded beverage and snack offerings, in addition to craft cocktails;
— A new Coke Wall on the Upper Concourse;
— Wahoo’s Fish Tacos will replace B.S. Taqueria on the Main Concourse next to Section 117. Its menu includes crispy fish tacos, loaded nachos, burritos, bowls and tacos with churro chips for dessert;
— Salt & Char, a burger and fries concession stand replacing McDonald’s on the Main Concourse at Section 114 and Upper Concourse at Section 301. Its menu includes plant-based burgers, chicken nuggets, shakes and soft-serve ice cream, along with domestic, craft and imported beers.
The Kings went 1-2-0 on their season-opening three-game road trip under new coach Todd McLellan, their third coach in four seasons, not including Willie Desjardins, who coached the team to a 27-34-8 record as interim coach after replacing John Stevens, who was fired Nov. 4 after the Kings got off to a 4-8-1 start.
McLellan coached the San Jose Sharks from 2008-15, wining three Pacific Division championships and twice reaching the Western Conference finals, and Edmonton Oilers from 2015 until being fired 20 games into last season.
McLellan inherits a team that had the second-fewest points in the NHL in the 2018-19 season and whose minus-61 goal differential was the league’s worst.
The Kings next home victory will be their 1,000th in their 52 seasons.