The Los Angeles Kings are inviting Cal Poly Pomona students, faculty and staff to attend a home game with two complimentary tickets through the Student Engagement, Leadership and Success program.
As a way to help support student activities at local colleges that were absent during the COVID-19 pandemic, the LA Kings have offered tickets to CPP along with Cal State LA, Long Beach City College and UCLA. The one-time initiative was announced at the beginning of November, giving students a two-month period to experience the exciting atmosphere that comes with a hockey game.
Interim Director of Student Engagement, Leadership and Success Jason M. Lu expressed his excitement with the partnership as SELS looks to increase student involvement in activities on and off campus.
“Coming out of the pandemic, we’re seeing more students wanting to be on campus and be active,” said Lu. “We’re trying to redesign our engagement opportunities and see how we can help the whole campus along with their support systems.”
With the LA Kings College and University Ticket Distribution Program, active students and staff will be emailed a code to redeem their tickets in the 300 section level ends at Crypto.com Arena for November and December.
If students wish to upgrade their seats to the 300-level center, 200-level or 100-level ends sections, they can apply a $60 credit to the tickets for their desired seats.
The LA Kings hope the promotion will help boost viewership as hockey ranks fifth in sports viewership amongst Americans. The team and the Anaheim Ducks have promoted similar events in the past, like CPP Night, through the Alumni Association.
Computer science student Jake Petersen expressed his enthusiasm for the sport and what it could bring for college students and Californians.
“Honestly, to me, it’s great,” said Petersen. “Especially in an area where hockey really isn’t too popular, here in the San Gabriel Valley, to be able to expand the sport and get more people involved.”
Petersen said he believes that hockey is just as exciting as any other sport, but the viewership of hockey may be limited in Southern California given the demographics and accessibility to play compared to other sports.
Competing with sports like football, baseball and basketball can be difficult given their standing history with college students in California and across the U.S.
The complimentary tickets could not have come at a better time as the LA Kings advance to 8-2-2 after defeating the now 11-2-1 Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 in a fast-paced battle Nov. 8.
Since the Knights are the defending Stanley Cup Champions and currently one of the best teams in the NHL, leading the western conference, the win draws more focus to the Kings as a Stanley Cup contender, even though it is only the beginning of the season.
One of the most highly anticipated matchups that CPP students can attend is the Colorado Avalanche versus the LA Kings Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. The Avalanche were the 2022 Stanley Cup Champions and currently lead the Central Division with an 8-3 record.
Applied mathematics student Nathan Gardea was shocked to see a promotional offer for a professional sports event campuswide and believes more students will grow a passion for the game of hockey if they make use of the free tickets.
The LA Kings have stated this will possibly be a one-time promotion, giving students the opportunity to take their minds off the stress that comes with college and take advantage of a fun night.
Both the LA Kings and the Anaheim Ducks have had an impressive start to their season and are on track to reignite a competitive rivalry dating back to the 2017-18 season.
The last time both fan bases faced off in the playoffs was in 2014, when the Kings defeated the Ducks in a tight series that came down to game seven. The Kings advanced to the Western Conference Finals and won the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals.
The next match where CPP students can take advantage of the promotion will be the Kings’ game against the Florida Panthers at home this Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Petersen, who has been to multiple games himself, hopes to see more college students get involved in the hockey world by attending the games that come with this promotion.
“Go for it; what do you have to lose?” said Petersen. “At worst, you’re going out with your friends, and at best, you’re being introduced to a new sport.”