The famed STAPLES Center in Downtown Los Angeles, CA — home to the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers, the NHL’s Kings and the WNBA’s Sparks — is taking on a new face.
The historic sports and entertainment center, which has over 20,000 seats, will be renamed Crypto.com Arena on Dec. 25, 2021, according to arena owner AEG, ESPN reports. The Singapore-based cryptocurrency brokerage will pay $700 million over the next 20 years to AEG, the management company for the building.
“This partnership is about the future,” AEG President Dan Beckerman said in a statement, according to the Washington Post. “AEG and Crypto.com not only share a vision about innovation and the future of sports and entertainment, but we also have a shared commitment to our communities where we work and live.”
Founded in 2016, Crypto.com is a cryptocurrency platform with reportedly over 10 million users worldwide. Since its inception, it has bolstered its efforts to expand throughout the sports industry landing impressive sponsorship deals with Formula One, the UFC, Italy’s Serie A, Paris St-Germain, the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, and even buying the Philadelphia 76ers‘ uniform sponsorship patch, ESPN reports. Now Crypto.com is making a groundbreaking step that could go down as one of the most ambitious naming rights in sports history.
However, not everyone seems to be too happy about the center’s makeover.
“I grew up with this being Staples Center and Staples Center being the place to play and the place to be,” Clippers forward Paul George said, according to The Washington Post. “It will definitely be weird. It’s the same location, but it‘s kind of stripping the history here. … Good thing we won’t be here too long. We’ll be at our own place.”
Fortunately for Paul George, the Clippers will have a short stay at the soon-to-be-renamed sports arena and concert venue. The team will relocate to a $1.2 billion Intuit Dome — which can house over 18,000 fans — in 2024.
As for the Los Angeles Lakers, the arena will remain their longtime home until 2041 due to a recent deal signed with AEG in May 2021.
In addition to hosting LA’s sports teams, the arena has also been a part of nearly 20 Grammy Awards ceremonies, three NBA All-Star games, two NHL All-Star Games, and of course, live concert events and performances. Memorials for legends such as Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle were also held at the prized STAPLES Center.