After 22 years, the home of NBA teams such as Lakers and Clippers and NHL’s Kings, all from Los Angeles downtown, will change its well-known name from Staples Center to Crypto.com Arena. This change will officially happen on Christmas Day, as was announced by the arena owner AEG on Tuesday.
According to multiple reports, this deal will cost $700 million over 20 years of payment for Crypto.com, but the parties have not publicly announced the financial terms yet. But for now, it is believed to be the richest naming rights deal in sports history.
Since it opened in October 1999, the Staples Center naming rights were owned by the American office-supplies retail company under a 20-year agreement, and now, in the NBA’s annual Christmas showcase, The Brooklyn Nets will visit the Lakers in the newly named 20,000-seat arena.
Founded in 2016, Crypto.com has become a big name in global sports, as they inked high-visibility sponsorship deals with Formula One, the UFC, Italy’s Serie A, Paris St-Germain and the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, while also purchasing the Philadelphia 76ers’ uniform sponsorship patch. They are a cryptocurrency platform and exchange headquartered in Singapore.
Besides being the home of many sports teams, the arena has hosted three NBA All-Star Games, two NHL All-Star Games, 19 Grammy Awards ceremonies, and countless high-profile concerts, performances and important public events, including memorials for Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson and Nipsey Hussle.
The Lakers have won six NBA championships while playing in Staples Center, the Sparks have won three WNBA titles, and the Kings won their first two Stanley Cup championships.
As for the Clippers, they won’t be making too much history in the Crypto.com Arena, as they are scheduled to open owner Steve Ballmer’s $1.2 billion, 18,000-seat Intuit Dome in neighboring Inglewood in 2024 when their Staples Center lease expires. The Clippers players were also among the first ones to react publicly to the name change on Tuesday night.
Paul George, who grew up in Palmdale, outside of Los Angeles said: “It’s kind of like just stripping the history here by calling it something else.”
Reggie Jackson didn’t like this new name change either: “[The Lakers] have their history here, Kobe, especially my era, growing up, watching those championships. Shaq [O’Neal]. Nah, it’s too many memories. It’s gonna be hard to not call it Staples,” were Reggie’s words.