A building currently named the Staples Center has been home to the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers, the NHL’s Kings, and the WNBA’s Sparks and will change its name after 22 years of operation. The 20,000-seat downtown Los Angeles sports building has been the Staples Center since AEG opened it in October 1999. Along with sports tenants, the building 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. The American office-supplies retail company, Staples, had a 20-year naming agreement with the building costing around $150 million. Since that agreement has expired, the name will change when the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA’s annual Christmas showcase.The new name change agreement has been made between the home of the Lakers and a well known cryptocurrency exchange.
Former Staples Center Renamed by Crypto.com
Crypto.com is a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Singapore. Crypto.com has been on a global sports spending spree over the past year, striking deals with Formula One, the UFC, Italy’s Serie A, Paris St-Germain and the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. The former Staples Center will be renamed by crypto.com. A new logo and other assets for the building will be unveiled on Christmas Day, when the Lakers play the Brooklyn Nets, and the building’s signage will be replaced by June 2022. The cryptocurrency exchange will be paying the home of the Lakers $700 million for the name change agreement over the next 20 years, according to the Associated Press.
Largest Name Agreement in Sports History
The AP’s source spoke to the outlet on the condition of anonymity due to the fact that, what is likely the richest naming rights deal in sports history, was not supposed to be public information yet. The downtown Los Angeles sports building’s new name agreement also dubs Crypto.com the “official cryptocurrency platform partner of the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Kings,” according to a press release. Crypto.com co-founder and CEO Kris Marszalek said “We’re very excited about partnering with AEG and investing long term in this city, starting with Crypto.com Arena in the heart of downtown and using our platform in new and creative ways so cryptocurrency can power the future of world class sports, entertainment and technology for fans in LA and around the world.”
The name change, however, has not settled well with many Los Angeles sports fans. “Never. Calling. It. Crypto,” one person tweeted. “I can’t handle a name change of the house that Kobe built. It’s Staples Center forever.” Vanessa Bryant, the wife of the late Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who died along with their 13-year-old daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash in January 2020, posted a similar sentiment on her Instagram story. Along with a post of the name change news, she wrote, “Forever known as ‘the house that Kobe built.'” Many fans say they would welcome a name change that pays respect to Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Do you believe the downtown Los Angeles sports building should be renamed for Kobe? What do you think of the new Crypto.com arena?
Written by: Erinn Malloy