LOS ANGELES – Imagine walking through the iconic LA Kings Player Tunnel at STAPLES Center, under hundreds of fans trying to reach their Stanley Cup-winning heroes, to enter a world of interactive experiences celebrating the science of hockey and the success of one of the most popular teams in the history of the NHL.
Now imagine doing that in the San Fernando Valley.
“The Science of Hockey” will debut in early 2015 at the new Discovery Cube Los Angeles (DCLA) as one of the most technically advanced sports-themed exhibits in the world. Announced for the first time today by representatives from the Discovery Science Foundation (DSF) and the Kings Care Foundation, the permanent destination attraction will combine hands-on hockey learning focused on the skills of the sport with unique participatory experiences that explain the scientific realities of the game.
Designed and produced by BaAM Productions, the new, second-floor “Science of Hockey” exhibit is one of more than a dozen highly interactive, science-based attractions being created on the 2.5-acre site of the former Children’s Museum of Los Angeles in the Hansen Dam Recreational Area. When it opens, Discovery Cube L.A. will offer 71,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits, displays, programs and learning spaces unique to Los Angeles but inspired by the 25-year success of Discovery Cube Orange County, formerly the Discovery Science Center, which is currently undergoing its own expansion.
According to Kafi Blumenfield, the newly named DCLA executive director, the goal of the “The Science of Hockey” is to provide science and hockey fans with exclusive access to the sport and the team while exploring the fascinating math and science behind the game.
“One of the best things about the new Discovery Cube LA is the opportunity for us to partner with some of L.A.’s most popular, like-minded organizations to take science-based discovery and education to a whole new level,” Blumenfield said. “We’re honored to be able to work with the Kings Care Foundation to create a best-in-class destination attraction that not only furthers learning but helps build the sport of hockey during an extraordinary time. Our expectation is that, after just one visit, guests will leave as bigger fans of science, hockey and the LA Kings.”
DSF designers worked closely with LA Kings representatives and BaAM Productions to create an exhibit that is as interactive, compelling and realistic as possible – a commitment to authenticity that starts right at the two attraction entrances. In addition to using the replica STAPLES Center players’ tunnel at the top of the ramp leading from the DCLA lobby, visitors can climb the stairs to be greeted by an oversized LA Kings logo and photo of the 2014 Stanley Cup-winning team celebrating their victory.
Once inside “The Science of Hockey,” visitors can experience the following permanent interactive exhibits and displays:
•You Be the Goalie / You Be the Shooter – Participants in this unique, in-the-game experience don a blocker and glove as goalie to try to stop pucks shot from virtual versions of LA Kings players Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter. If they choose to turn the tables, and take shots on LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in “You be the Shooter,” they are rewarded with instant speed and accuracy feedback.
•Penalty Box – Fans can help get an LA Kings player out of the penalty box and back on the ice by correctly answering a series of questions about the math and science behind the sport.
•Zamboni Test Drive – Occupying the center of “The Science of Hockey” is a replica Zamboni offering guests the once-in-a-lifetime chance to climb aboard, turn the auger and get the feel of driving this iconic, ice-resurfacing machine. A scale replica of the STAPLES Center scoreboard overhead provides the perfect photo opp.
•Suit Yourself – NHL hopefuls can use interactive touch screens to design their very own jerseys and then capture and add their own likeness before the highly personalized image is displayed on a large screen.
•Equipment Lab – An interactive display allows guests to compare the weight of an old uniform and equipment to the modern, streamlined uniforms of today. Meanwhile, a display wall of equipment cut in cross-section and a series of videos demonstrate the equipment in action, force and power exchange dynamics, STOP program and safety tips.
•Healthy Locker Room – Guests learn about training and nutrition by playing interactive games in this unique, technically advanced replica of the LA Kings locker room. Hands-on participatory consoles at each players’ locker provide memorable opportunities for individual and group play and discovery.
•Skater Challenge – Intrepid skaters can follow Dustin Brown or LA Kings mascot Bailey around the ice to test their skating ability and speed. The faster the visitor skates, the faster the on-screen LA Kings player or mascot moves.
•LA Kings Story – The culmination of the “The Science of Hockey” experience is the LA Kings Story featuring great moments in LA Kings history, with storytelling supported by compelling, larger-than-life images, artifacts and video. A photo op will allow fans to picture themselves holding the Stanley Cup.
“This will be a fun and educational, interactive hockey experience for the entire community and for young people in particular,” said Luc Robitaille, president of LA Kings Business Operations and a Hockey Hall of Famer. “We love the game of hockey and we believe our new partnership with Discovery Cube Los Angeles will showcase many behind-the-scenes aspects of the game that help make hockey and the LA Kings unique and special.”