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Lakers’ Home Gets a New Name

The Staples Centre, an iconic venue that serves as the home to the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, WNBA’s Sparks and the NHL’s Kings gets a name change. The name change to the 22-year old arena takes effect on Christmas Day after a $700 Million, 20-year naming rights deal between Owner, AEG and Singapore based cryptocurrency platform, was consumated early on Wednesday.

Staples Center – the iconic home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers among others since 1999 – will have a new name beginning Dec. 25: Arena. It’s believed to be the largest U.S. venue naming rights deal to date. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 17, 2021

The agreement, according to a press release, also dubs the “official cryptocurrency platform partner of the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Kings.” The 20,000-seat arena has been the Staples Center since opening for business in October 1999, with the naming rights owned by the American office-supplies retail company under a 20-year agreement. But in 2019, the AEG owners bought the rights back for an undisclosed sum. The name officially changes when the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA’s annual Christmas showcase. A VENUE WITH A RICH WINNING HISTORY The Lakers have won six NBA championships in the arena, including three straight in its first three years of operation. The Sparks account for three WNBA titles while at the Staples Center, and the Kings won their first two Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014 there, clinching both on home ice.

Staples Center is the only arena that houses two NBA teams and four pro sports teams but AEG got a record naming rights deal with the Clippers leaving in 2024 and the Sparks considering the same. That’s about 60 televised games per year Crypto won’t get two years into this deal. — Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 17, 2021

Along with its sports tenants, the arena has hosted 19 Grammy Awards ceremonies, three NBA All-Star Games, two NHL All-Star Games and countless high-profile concerts, performances and important public events, including memorials for Michael Jackson, Nipsey Hussle and Kobe Bryant.

FANS AND PERSONALTIES CRY FOUL OVER THE NAME CHANGE. Change is never easy, especially when it is about sports and a venue that evoke deep emotions and memories. Not a few fans with affinity to the downtown Los Angeles entertainment arena are pleased with the recent development. Vanessa Bryant, the widow of one of the greatest basketballer ever, Kobe Bryant, responded to the news of the name change as “The House That Kobe Built” in recognition of the immense contribution of her late husband to the laurels of the Lakers franchise. Bryant led the Lakers to five titles in the building and he was memorialized there due to his death in a helicopter mishap in January 2020.

Vanessa Bryant’s response to news of the Staples Center name change. — KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO (@KNX1070) November 17, 2021

Be that as it may, change is a constant and it comes quite regularly in the business terrain for a change of guard as the need arises, especially when its long overdue. The AEG Management wont mind heckles and gags from the fans and celebrities sentimentally attached to what the Staples Centre represent for them, but in the end, its all about the business.

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