The Royal Feast
A photo essay from the Kings’ charitable fan luncheon
On Sunday, March 10, 2013, the entire Los Angeles Kings roster gathered for a festive luncheon at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at LA Live. Tiffany & Co., the officially creator of the LA Kings Championship jewelry, was also on hand to display their championship line.
The entire restaurant was closed to the public to allow the Kings to interact up close and personally with fans, while enjoying a truly royal feast. The event sold out at $400 per ticket, with all proceeds benefiting the Kings Care Foundation. In total, the Royal Feast raised nearly $100,000.
Kings’ winger Jeff Carter autographs a hat for a fan after finishing his salad and appetizers. “It’s tough with a season like this, there aren’t many days we have off, but it’s important to do this for the fans and sponsors who come out and support us night and night out, so it’s nice to give back to them,” said Carter, who leads the team in goals scored.
Rookie Jake Muzzin enjoys lunch with the Lopez Family, all of whom have been Kings fans for over 11 years. “It was really my husband, Ken, who was really excited about it. He thought this would be a great opportunity for the family to come and meet the players right after the Stanley Cup Championship. We were hesitant because of the timing and financially, but we made it happen and we don’t regret it. This intimate setting is perfect. I would never have known about Muzzin’s background if it weren’t for this opportunity. He’s an awesome guy,” said Diana Lopez.
Jordan Nolan gets the chance to chat with fans over lunch. “This is pretty important, these people pay a lot of money to come watch us play and they support us every night whether we’re winning or losing, so it’s definitely nice to give back and hang out with them a little bit,” said Nolan, in his second year with the Kings.
Goaltender Jonathan Bernier takes a break from lunch and autographs a replica Stanley Cup for the silent auction. “Any time we can give back to the community through Kings Care is important for us and our players are the number one connection to our fans. These are some of our top fans, so we’re excited to spend Sunday afternoon with them,” said Kelly Cheeseman, chief operating officer for AEG Sports.
Drew Doughty takes a seat at the head of his lunch table and converses with his lunch mates. “The fans, for the most part, don’t get to see our personalities at other events because they’re quick, one-minute, meet-and-greets, but here we get to mingle with them all and talk to them and they get to learn more about us and I think that’s what the fans really want. At the same time, for us players, it’s nice to hear some of their thoughts and hear what they think about the team and hear what the LA Kings do for them in their lives,” Doughty said.
The event featured a unique silent auction, which included autographed merchandise, rare Stanley Cup memorabilia, “sand engravings” of goalie Jonathan Quick, and resort stays, among other items.
Center Jarret Stoll enjoys his salad, the first of a multi-course meal which also included lamb chops, steak, lobster tail, and three different desserts. “The Kings have been eating in our restaurants all over the country for quite a few years, so they’re a great partner of ours since we’re so close to STAPLES Center. We started off with the players’ support, then the organization, from Luc down, has always supported our restaurant, so we just thought it would be a great thing to support the Kings Care Foundation, fill up the restaurant, and help them raise a lot of money,” said Michael DiGiambattista, operating partner for Fleming’s.
Defenseman Matt Greene is engaged in conversation over lunch with a young fan. “The food was delicious. I had the steak and the lobster tail and it was glorious. I like all the desserts equally, and I will eat them all,” said an enthusiastic Greene. “Here we get more time with the fans, more intimate time, rather than a quick autograph signing. When you sit down and have a meal, you get to know someone and you have the chance to talk a little bit more.”