Last Saturday, more than 1,000 people, including nearly 500 very enthusiastic youngsters, flooded the Hockey Monkey Superstore in Irvine for the official 2014 Lil Kings Equipment Fitting Event.
The 2014 Lil Kings Learn to Play Hockey Program has now begun, thanks to the LA Kings, CCM, Hockey Monkey, and Kings Captain Dustin Brown, who have joined together to put over 500 kids ages 4-8 into the game of hockey this year alone.
This season is the second for Lil Kings, which last year sold out at 180 spots over six Southern California ice rinks.
“Lil Kings is sold out and all 510 slots are filled,” said the Kings’ Director of Fan Development, Chris Crotty. “The 2015 Lil Kings wait list already has over 100 people. We have 17 programs at 14 rinks in 2014, including two girls-only programs. We are looking to grow the program to over 700 new kids in 2015.”
Demand for the Lil Kings program undoubtedly stems from the cost-efficiency for families that have kids between the ages of 4-8 who have never before played organized hockey.
The program offers participants a full set of professionally fitted CCM hockey equipment, including skates, and six on-ice coaching sessions, maxed out at 30 kids, all for the unbelievably low cost of $125.
All sessions were completely sold out on December, not long after the program opened for registration in the Fall.
Saturday’s event was for equipment fitting only and included appearances by Kings mascot Bailey, the Kings Ice Crew, Kings Alumni Jim Fox, Daryl Evans and Sean O’Donnell. Kids were also able to participate in hockey-related activities set up by the Kings Chariot Staff. Friends and family of those being fitted were also encouraged to attend.
Kids who participated in the official fitting event received a LA Kings Limited Edition Mini-Locker, LA Kings Sunglasses, an official LA Kings helmet decal and were entered to win a Stadium Series Jersey autographed by program ambassador, Brown.
“The best part of the program is that all the kids are beginning their hockey careers as a member of the Kings family,” Crotty said.
This idea that these kids are beginning their hockey careers as Lil Kings is the driving force behind the program.
“Lil Kings is going to solidify generations of new Kings fans,” Crotty explained. “We are proud to help make it possible to get these kids on the ice playing hockey for the first time. We hope this program leads to the kids, parents, and the rest of the family supporting the Kings for the rest of their lives.”
The Kings hope to be able to put 1,000 new kids into the Lil Kings program by 2017, continuing the already steady growth.
Anyone interested in joining the 2015 wait list can sign up at LAKings.com/LilKings. Wait list participants will receive early access when registration opens in the Fall of 2014.