Last year the Los Angeles Lakers confirmed that the Staples Center would change its name to Crypto.com Arena, an announcement that caught many of the team’s fans and business partners by surprise.
The Lakers have spent over two decades playing at Staples Center, claiming six NBA titles. The Purple and Gold celebrated their move from The Forum in 1999 by winning the famous three-peat between 2000-2002.
It served as the Lakers’ home when the late Kobe Bryant won his fourth and fifth rings alongside Paul Gasol — and later when L.A. endured the worst period in franchise history, ending with LeBron James’ arrival.
Initially, Staples Center was to remain Staples Center for as long as the sports complex existed. However, in an exciting business transaction, it turns out the arena’s owners, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), bought back the naming rights from Staples two years ago, via L.A. reporter Arash Markazi:
Via @axios: AEG “quietly bought back the naming rights from Staples, owned by 2019 by private equity firm Sycamore Partners… Staples originally paid $120 million for a 20-year naming rights deal in 1999.” Crypto-com will pay $700 million for a 20-year deal for Crypto-com Arena. pic.twitter.com/mGpTg6rlt0
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 17, 2021
Crypto.com has become the Lakers and L.A. Kings’ official cryptocurrency platform partner as part of the deal and will seek to capitalize on the alternative currency craze that includes exchanges, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), bitcoin casino games, and the blockchain.
The Lakers also agreed to remain in downtown Los Angeles, extending the lease until at least 2041.
Major Renovations Planned
Staples Center is set to go through a significant transition as, in addition to the name change, the arena’s owners are planning a massive renovation of the sports complex, including a complete overhaul of hospitality and enhancements to the venue, entry, and plaza areas.
Just before the regular season began, it was announced that the first stage of renovations to Crypto.com Arena was completed. These first phase changes include re-imagined arena locations such as an expanded Chairman’s Club that will provide select season ticket members and VIP guests new benefits and experiences at Crypto.com Arena’s most private and sought-after location before, during, and after events.
Commenting on the first phase of renovations, Michele Kajiwara, SVP of Sales said:
“At Crypto.com Arena, premium memberships are ‘more than a seat.’ They go above and beyond the games and events that are the foundation of standard sports and entertainment memberships. We pride ourselves in offering our members money can’t buy experiences and exclusive events.”
Crypto.com Arena’s overhaul is expected to cost $1 billion and include changes from the concourse to the seats. AEG announced the comprehensive slate of renovations is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2024.