Keck Medicine of USC and Dr. John Meyer’s Institute of Sports Physical Therapy will operate at the Los Angeles Kings’ new orthopedic clinic and rehab facility in El Segundo when it is finished next year, according to Kelly Cheeseman, chief operations officer for the Kings.

As part of the deal, Meyer will take over as the Kings’ primary team doctor starting in the 2018-2019 season, Cheeseman said, adding that Meyer’s track record of rehabilitating injured athletes was stellar.

The Kings executive said the partnership was the first of its kind in the NHL.

The medical facility is being built at a practice space the Kings formerly shared with the Los Angeles Lakers – dubbed the Toyota Sports Center – until the basketball team moved out in July. Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc. owns both the Kings and the facility at 555 N. Nash St.

The Kings took over the Lakers’ former office space, but the basketball team’s practice facility wasn’t large enough to accommodate a hockey rink.

Cheeseman said the decision was made to instead convert the 5,000 square feet into a medical practice and training facility. That includes 3,500 square feet allocated for the Keck facility, which is focused on orthopedic medical treatment.

Keck Medicine Chief Operating Officer Rod Hanners said the clinic won’t exclusively serve Kings players or professional athletes; members of the public can in some circumstances be treated there as well.

“The Kings and AEG are such a great organization and we had been talking about it for a while and then we were the third party brought in,” Hanners said. “We envision working with others in our specialty to solve sports-related performance.”

Meyer’s ISportsPT facility at the Toyota Sports Center will take up 1,500 square feet and be the new headquarters for the company, currently located near Los Angeles International Airport. The outpost will include a biomechanics lab and physical therapy practice.

Both the Keck and ISportsPT facilities are expected to open in summer 2018.

Cheeseman also stressed the facilities’ availability to non-professional athletes.

“We are not privatizing this space,” he said. “Other teams may create things behind closed doors, but in our case where Jonathan Quick, Alex Martinez and our top players get training, we allow our Junior Kings and youth athletes to train.”

Genesis Open Gives Back

The PGA Tour is back underway for the 2017-2018 season, and the Genesis Open – played annually at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades – is already gearing up for another event managed by TGR Live for the second straight year.

The tournament runs Feb. 15-18 with a pro-am event on Feb. 14.

Ticket sales for the tournament are up 45 percent from this time last year, according to Genesis Open General Manager Dave Klewan. The upcoming tournament is expected to sell out this year after failing to do so in 2017, he said.

Klewan said tournament organizers were working on attracting a younger crowd to the golf course this year. The 2017 tournament drew 1,200 youth attendees, and Klewan wants more to show up for the 2018 event.

“The Genesis Open through our Tee Off Fore Youth program provides opportunities for L.A.-area youth to experience the wonders of professional golf and the Riviera Country Club by supplying transportation, tickets, food and day-of curated on-site experiences the Saturday of tournament week,” he said. “The power of the PGA Tour is about what the events provide, because people forget to mention that we raise more money than the four major sports raise combined.”

Chargers Embrace Diversity

The Los Angeles Chargers are the forefront of efforts to reach out to LGBTQ football fans.

The team partnered with Venice Pride on Oct. 29 to put on the inaugural edition of the Gay Gridiron watch party, with several more editions slated for this year. The Chargers hosted the event at the Basement Tavern in Santa Monica where attendees watched a matinee game between the team and the New England Patriots.

This is the second time that the Chargers have partnered with Venice Pride, and they are the first NFL team to host this type of LGBTQ viewing party, according to news reports. The team sees the events as an important step to embrace all football fans, and more importantly help grow the NFL’s presence in the gay community.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to correct the name of the Keck institution involved in the partnership and to correct Rod Hanners' title.

Staff reporter Josh Niv can be reached at jniv@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 556-8336.

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