L.A. Kings celebration continues with Staples Center rally
After a 45-year wait, it was all over in about an hour for those who had gathered for the L.A. Kings championship celebration parade.
By about 1:30 p.m., the crowds that had swarmed into downtown Los Angeles for a glance at the Stanley Cup started to head out, while another 18,000 or so lucky fans streamed into the Staples Center for the sold-out rally.
Between the end of the parade and the beginning of the rally, Kings players and coaches attended a reception and lunch inside the Staples Center before greeting fans.
The rally, scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m., will include “specially produced video highlights from the season, introductions of the entire team, coaching staff and executives with speeches and reactions from many of the players.”
At center ice, black carpets and chairs surrounded a clear glass podium.
Four rows up in Section 111, Glenn Lanksbury sat with his daughter Shelby, a high school junior who arranged to take a final exam early this morning to make it in time for the rally.
"We just had to be a part of it, the jubilation and excitement and energy," Glenn said. "Who knows the next time we'll get to see a Stanley Cup."
"I'm just happy for this city," said Mike Lebow, an attorney from Calabasas. "We're not known as a hockey town, but I think that's misleading. There's a huge base of loyal and rabid fans."
Mike Gomes walked through the Staples Center concourse sipping beers attached to his hockey helmet, which also had a flashing red light on the top. Gomes, a 33-year-old welder from Cerritos, carried a sign that said "Bow down 2 the Kings of the Cup."
He summed up Thursday's festivities as "awesome."
-- Sam Allen and Times staff