Lakers History: The History of Crypto Arena
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Crypto Arena, formerly the Staples Center in Los Angeles, has a rich and storied history, which has been pivotal in developing the city’s sporting landscape since its inception in 1999. Over the years, this iconic arena has hosted numerous high-profile events, including NBA and NHL games, boxing matches, figure skating competitions, and countless concerts. This article takes a deep dive into the 24-year history of this legendary venue, from its initial construction to its current status as a major destination for sports and entertainment in Los Angeles.

Construction and Early Years

The Staples Center was initially conceived as part of a larger plan to reinvigorate the downtown Los Angeles area. Billionaire Philip Anschutz, who owned the Los Angeles Kings, partnered with Ed Roski Jr., the Los Angeles Lakers owner, to form the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). The duo envisioned a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex attracting tourists and locals alike.

Construction on the Staples Center began in 1997, intending to create a venue to accommodate multiple sports, including basketball, hockey, and arena football. The $375 million project was funded through private investments, loans, and public bonds. The arena finally opened on October 17, 1999, with a concert by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.

The Staples Center quickly became home to multiple professional sports teams, including all games played by the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers of the NBA, and the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL. Additionally, it housed the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA and the now-defunct Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League.

Notable Events and Milestones

Throughout its history, the Staples Center has been the stage for many memorable moments in sports and entertainment. Some highlights include:

  1. NBA Championships: The Lakers won their first championship at the Staples Center in 2000, defeating the Indiana Pacers. The team would win four more championships in the arena, with the most recent victory coming in 2010 against the Boston Celtics.
  2. NHL Stanley Cup Finals: The Kings captured their first-ever Stanley Cup championship in 2012, defeating the New Jersey Devils in six games. The team would win their second championship two years later against the New York Rangers.
  3. The Grammy Awards: Since 2000, the Staples Center has been the primary venue for the annual Grammy Awards ceremony, showcasing some of the most memorable performances in music history.
  4. Michael Jackson’s Memorial Service: In 2009, the Staples Center hosted a public memorial service for pop legend Michael Jackson, attended by over 17,000 people and watched by millions worldwide.
  5. Boxing: The Staples Center has been the site of numerous high-profile boxing matches, including the 2009 bout between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto and the 2018 heavyweight clash between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
  6. Figure Skating: The 2002 and 2009 World Figure Skating Championships were held at the Staples Center, showcasing the best figure skaters from around the globe.
  7. Kobe Bryant Memorial: On February 24, 2020, Staples Center hosted a tribute to the basketball legend and his daughter, Gianna. Filled with thousands of mourners, including celebrities, fans, and athletes, Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, spoke movingly about her husband and daughter and their impact on her life.

Economic Impact and Legacy

The Staples Center’s success has significantly impacted the economy and development of downtown Los Angeles. The arena has created thousands of jobs and generated billions of dollars in revenue for the city. In addition, it has spurred the growth of the surrounding area, leading to the development of the LA Live entertainment complex, which includes hotels, restaurants, and other entertainment venues. The arena’s importance to Los Angeles was recognized in 2009 when the city declared October 17 as “Staples Center Day,” commemorating the venue’s 10th anniversary. This acknowledgment further cemented the Staples Center’s status as vital to the city’s cultural and economic fabric.

Regarding infrastructure, the Staples Center has also played a significant role in revitalizing the downtown area. The arena’s construction and the subsequent development of LA Live have transformed a once-neglected part of the city into a thriving hub of activity. The revitalization efforts have attracted new businesses and investment, contributing to the overall economic growth of Los Angeles.

The Staples Center has also had a lasting impact on the sports landscape in Los Angeles. Its state-of-the-art facilities and central location has made it the preferred venue for numerous high-profile events, including the NBA All-Star Game, NHL All-Star Game, and the X Games. These events have generated revenue for the city and reinforced Los Angeles’ status as a premier destination for sports and entertainment.

Moreover, the Staples Center has become synonymous with the success of its home teams. The arena has provided an electric atmosphere for the Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and Sparks, who have experienced varying degrees of success in their respective leagues. For many fans, attending a game at the Staples Center has become a quintessential Los Angeles experience, further highlighting the arena’s cultural significance.

The Staples Center’s influence extends beyond sports and entertainment, as it has also served as a platform for social and political events. Over the years, the venue has hosted numerous charity events, political rallies, and even presidential visits. These events have demonstrated the arena’s versatility and ability to unite people for a shared purpose.

Crypto.com Center

Crypto.com, a leading cryptocurrency exchange and payment platform, secured a sponsorship deal for the Staples Center. Under the multi-year agreement, the Staples Center was renamed the “Crypto.com Arena” starting Christmas Day 2021. This was a landmark moment for the cryptocurrency industry, as it marked the first time a cryptocurrency company secured naming rights for a major sports arena. The deal is reportedly worth $700 million, making it one of the largest sponsorship agreements in sports history.

By partnering with a high-profile venue like the Staples Center, Crypto.com aims to increase its brand awareness and gain mainstream cryptocurrency acceptance. The sponsorship deal also includes exclusive benefits for Crypto.com users, such as access to VIP events and promotions.

The Future

Crypto.com Arena approaches its 25th anniversary, and its legacy as a driving force in the growth and development of downtown Los Angeles is firmly established. Its economic impact is undeniable, and its status as a cultural icon continues to grow. In many ways, the Staples Center has come to symbolize the city itself – a thriving, diverse, and dynamic metropolis that attracts people from all walks of life.

Staples Center has left an indelible mark on Los Angeles. From its inception as a catalyst for economic growth and urban revitalization to its present-day role as a hub for sports, entertainment, and cultural events, the Staples Center has become an integral part of the city’s identity. As the arena continues to host high-profile events and contribute to the ongoing growth and development of Los Angeles, its legacy will only continue to grow in the years to come.

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