Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where are the Kings fans?

Puck Boy had the good fortune to be invited to Tuesday night's Los Angeles Kings preseason opener against Phoenix. The Kings won the split squad contest 4 to 3 behind two goals and an assist from defenseman Jack Johnson, who just happens to be my favorite Kings player.

But check out the crowd. Or, should I say, lack of it. The Kings listed the attendance at 8,432, but I'm not sure they had that many people. Staples Center was empty and it was quiet -- well, except for the timeouts when Kings employees threw T-shirts into the crowd. Fans get themselves into quite the frenzy over that -- the hockey, as far as I can tell, is just something to kill time between promotional giveaways.

It will be interesting to see how many people come out to see the Kings when the season starts. The team, like many other pro teams, didn't raise ticket prices in the off-season and the Kings, to their credit, seemed to make an effort to improve. But crowds were often light last season and I'm not sure given the economy that it's realistic to expect more seats filled this year.

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