The Los Angeles Lakers have confirmed Staples Center will change its name to Crypto.com Arena this season — an announcement that caught many of the team’s fans by surprise.
The Lakers have spent over two decades playing at Staples Center, claiming six NBA titles along the way. 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 which ended with LeBron James’ arrival.
Initially, Staples Center was supposed to remain Staples Center for as long as the sports complex existed. However, 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
As part of the deal, Crypto.com has also become the Lakers and L.A. Kings’ official cryptocurrency platform partner.
After the current road trip, the Lakers will return to Staples Center on Nov. 26 to host the Sacramento Kings. They have seven games left before the venue becomes Crypto.com Arena.
L.A. has recently agreed to remain in downtown Los Angeles, extending the lease until at least 2041.
Staples Center to undergo major renovations
Staples Center is set to go through a major transition as in addition to the name change, the arena’s owners are planning a massive renovation of the sports complex.
Crypto.com Arena’s overhaul is expected to cost $1 billion and include changes to everything from the concourse to the seats.
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