From sunny weather and outdoor activities, to an ice rink, volleyball court, and roller-hockey floor, the first ever Stadium Series game between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks was ready to go at Dodger Stadium, Saturday.
As you looked around what is usually a baseball field you saw over the Dodgers home plate a roller hockey floor (tribute to the starting point of California born and raised NHL players), a beach volleyball court in the leftfield, two performance stages (KISS, Jordin Sparks and more), and most importantly a NHL size hockey rink in the infield.
The event was full of entertainment, true Hollywood style. From Wayne Gretzky dropping the ceremonial puck, Jordin Sparks singing the national anthem, KISS and Five for Fighters performing, and the Kings and Ducks making their way onto the ice with the USC Trojan marching band performed as they passed through a bundle of palm trees. Add pyrotechnics and fireworks and it was one heck of a show even though the outcome of the Kings losing 3-0 was the worst part for most.
Hockey in California has always been but a mere dream, to make the sport popular in a state where lakes don’t freeze in the winter to become a pond. When Gretzky arrived to the Kings in the early 90’s, he didn’t know he would help popularize the sport. After he left in 2007 the Ducks won the Stanley Cup, but it wasn’t until 2012 when the Kings won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history did the state of California really sink into hockey. If that didn’t happen, the Kings and Ducks wouldn’t , make history at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.
To those who said Southern California wouldn’t be for hockey, and outdoor hockey was impossible, it happened, and there were well over 54-thousand fans selling out Dodger Stadium to prove just that, it’s not just today but always a beautiful day for hockey in Southern California.
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