This time, Los Angeles fans weren't rushing for the exits.
Many in the crowd of 12,559 stood cheering as 32 years of the Kings' history flashed on the overhead scoreboard in a final salute to hockey at the Forum, which was built by former Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke in 1967.
The Kings closed out their residency in the circular building on Manchester Avenue with an 8-1 victory over the rival Anaheim Mighty Ducks in a preseason game Monday night. Neither team left without a fight.
"If you're going to end it, end it with a bang," Kings left wing Luc Robitaille said.
There were six fights in the third period, when referees assessed 149 penalty minutes and coaches Andy Murray of Los Angeles and Craig Hartsburg of Anaheim got into an argument between their benches.
"It was a case of our team being emotionally charged with the last game at the Forum," said Murray, in his first year with the Kings. "I thought the people were into the mood of the last game here and I think that inspired our team. We got off to a good start and everything seemed to click."
The Kings and the Lakers, the Forum's more successful tenant, are moving to the new Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, about 25 miles from their old digs.
The Kings' first game there is against Boston on Oct. 20. The Lakers will play two exhibition games at the Forum next month before the building becomes predominantly a concert venue.
S. Williams Withdraws
Weary from three straight weeks of tennis and unwilling to make a trans-Atlantic flight, U.S. Open champion Serena Williams withdrew yesterday from the Seat Open in Luxembourg.
This is the fourth tournament from which she has withdrawn this year. The WTA Tour said she could lose $16,900 in year-end bonus money for the no-shows.
Williams was the top seed for the $180,000 tournament and was to begin play Thursday after receiving a first-round bye.
AU Announces Schedule
American University's men's basketball team is scheduled to face Ohio State, George Washington and Delaware, among its nonconference opponents, according to its schedule released yesterday. The Eagles will play at Ohio State, which advanced to the Final Four last season, on Dec. 29, and will face George Washington at the Smith Center on Jan. 12. [Schedule on Page D11.] . . .
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Joe Smith broke a bone in his left foot during a pickup game last Thursday, meaning he will probably miss the start of the regular season. . . . The Detroit Pistons acquired veteran point guard Derek Harper from the Los Angeles Lakers for the rights to rookie guard Melvin Levett. . . . The New York Knicks re-signed reserve point guard Rick Brunson. . . . Jazz owner Larry Miller said the team will not re-sign free agent guard Shandon Anderson.
U-Md. Sets Dates
The 2000 Maryland men's lacrosse schedule features nine games against teams that finished in the top 20 last season, including a March 31 date with defending national champion Virginia in College Park.
The five-time defending NCAA champion Maryland women's team will face off against the three other Final Four teams from last season, starting with a road game against 1999 national semifinalist Duke on March 3. The Terrapins host Virginia, whom they defeated to win the national title last season, on March 14.
Maryland will host both the men's and women's ACC tournaments April 21-23. The men's Final Four returns to College Park for the eighth time in nine years May 27-29. [Schedules on Page D11.]
No Early World Cup
A May kickoff for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan is "out of the question," a top official of European soccer's governing body said.
FIFA in July asked its regional confederations to consider a proposal to begin the tournament May 23, nearly three weeks ahead of its usual start, to avoid the South Korean rainy season.
"Our executive committee made it quite clear that it is out of the question for Europe to start a World Cup in May," said Gerhard Aigner, general secretary of the Union of European Football Associations.
The European soccer season would have to end by mid-May to accommodate an earlier start.
Talk Isn't Cheap
ABC appears to be getting record prices in excess of $2 million for 30-second commercials in January's Super Bowl telecast, up 25 percent from a year earlier.
If the average price winds up at $2 million, it would be the highest average ever for commercials in a TV program, easily eclipsing the Super Bowl record of $1.6 million set last January.
Some reports have put the all-time commercial price record at $1.7 million for the finale of the comedy series "Seinfeld" in 1998.
ABC officials declined to comment on how much they were getting for Super Bowl ad time or how much commercial time remains unsold for the Jan. 30 game, which will be played in Atlanta.
Tournament Staying Put
An agreement is near on a deal to keep the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Hawaii. Some minor details need to be worked out before the deal with the PGA of America can be announced, said Michael Castillo, head pro at the Poipu Bay Resort Golf Club. The tournament pits the winners of golf's four majors in a two-day competition for $1 million in prize money.
This year's competitors are PGA champ Tiger Woods, Masters champ Jose Maria Olazabal, British Open champ Paul Lawrie and U.S. Open champ Payne Stewart.