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Stanley Cup Championship: AEG v. MSG business battle on ice

Banner above Staples Center reading
Banner above Staples Center reading "We are all Kings" on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.
Shirley Jahad/KPCC
Banner above Staples Center reading
L.A. Kings fans stocking up on fan gear at L.A. Live on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.
Shirley Jahad/KPCC
Banner above Staples Center reading
Kings fans hoped for a sweep before the game on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. David Baltazar is one of the lucky season ticket holders to also get tix to the viewing party at Club Nokia. He bought a Game 4 puck.
Shirley Jahad/KPCC
Banner above Staples Center reading
Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers tracks the puck against Tanner Pearson #70 of the Los Angeles Kings during the third period of Game Three of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Madison Square Garden on June 9, 2014 in New York.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

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The Los Angeles Kings try to sweep the Stanley Cup Championship this Wednesday evening against the New York Rangers.  The battle between the companies that own the two teams goes deeper than the ice.

Anschutz Entertainment Group – or AEG - owns the Kings, and the Madison Square Garden Company– MSG – owns the Rangers.  In addition to owning sports teams, both companies own major venues – like Staples Center and Madison Square Garden - and stage big concerts. 

RELATED: LA Kings look to finish off Rangers in Stanley Cup finals sweep

"Corporations don’t usually own sports teams, and to have two that are in the same silos I think is kinda unique," says Bob Gutkowski, a partner with Innovative Sports and Entertainment, and the former CEO of Madison Square Garden. 

"It’s important for both corporations to win because it can really help that particular business and that could potentially bleed into other parts of their business," Gutkowski says.

Tony Knopp, founder of Calabasas-based Spotlight Ticket Management Services agrees.  

"Both companies are trying to be entertainment providers, and part of being an entertainment provider is having that press that you have the golden touch, that the teams that you are tied to are good teams," Knopp says.

The war between AEG and MSG really got going two years ago, when AEG began operating the Barclays Center in Brooklyn – MSG’s backyard.  Earlier this year, MSG fired back by reviving the Forum in Inglewood, where the Kings used to play.   Knopp says MSG has brought shine to the Forum with concerts by The Eagles, Sting and Paul Simon, with Tom Petty and Justin Timberlake on the way.

"The reality is, AEG needs to have some of that shine as well, especially considering that the premiere tenant of the Staples Center – the Lakers – are a little bit down right now," Knopp says.