Lakers News: Arena Undergoing Nine-Figure Renovation
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers have called the Arena home ever since it was opened as the Staples Center in 1999. At the time, it was a truly state-of-the-art arena and it is one in which the likes of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and now LeBron James have made many memories within.

Back in Nov. 2021, bought the naming rights to the arena, causing the name change, and it now looks like more changes are on the way. Arena will soon be finishing the first phase of its renovation plans that will reportedly cost AEG nine figures:

The first of this three-phase plan will be finished in about two months and will feature a number of renovations. This includes a revamped Chairman’s Club for courtside guests, new LED hustle boards and three ribbon boards inside the arena, two new grab-and-go markets and two new concession stands, as well as a security upgrade and an entirely new lighting system.

The second and third phases of this renovation project will take place primarily during the 2023 and 2024 NBA and NHL offseasons and Arena will not close during any of this. These will include such things as a roof replacement, a redo of the locker rooms and a complete renovation of all of the suite clubs. But other things may be a part of it as well as Arena President Lee Zeidman says they will take a look at everything following Phase 1 for any other possible changes they can make, via Bret McCormick of the Sports Business Journal:

“After Phase 1 is done, we’ll be able to look at the venue: Is there something we go back with to the Lakers and Kings from a fan journey, fan experience standpoint that makes the venue more accessible, quicker to get into, quicker to get out of?” said Lee Zeidman, president of Arena, Microsoft Theater and L.A. Live. “We’re not afraid to change things up on the fly.”

The renovations are being headed by architects Dan Meis and Ron Turner, who designed the original building in the 1990s. One of the main goals is to add more communal areas for fans to gather and to truly create unique experiences for any fans to enter the arena.

Lakers to retire Pau Gasol’s jersey at Arena on March 7

As far as the games taking place within the Arena this season, few will be as anticipated as March 7 when the Lakers will raise Pau Gasol’s number 16 jersey to the rafters where it belongs.

Gasol was absolutely instrumental in the Lakers’ back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010 and was the perfect complement to superstar Kobe Bryant. Additionally, Gasol is simply an amazing person who represented the Lakers’ purple and gold with true class.

The fact that the Lakers will be playing the Memphis Grizzlies, the franchise which Gasol started his Hall of Fame career with, just makes the contest that much bigger.

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