Staples Center - Venue Spotlight

On October 17, 1999 Staples Center (now known as Arena) opened its doors to the public with a sold out series of four concerts by Bruce Springsteen and his recently reunited E Street Band.

Despite being built by the owners of the LA Kings and minority-owners of the Lakers, the $375 million arena in downtown LA, it was the Boss who had the honor of breaking the seal of the 20,000 seat venue.

Springsteen has performed in California over 150 times, but he's not a big fan of luxury boxes in the middle levels of arenas - of which Staples has three levels of glassed-in top dollar boxes - so he has preferred playing at the Forum, and now-demolished Sports Arena.

“Too many sky boxes!” he said complained opening night “It’s important for you folks up there … to come out of your rooms to see a rock show.”

The Boss never returned to Staples after opening it and when he returns to LA in December, he will be back at the Forum, the original home of the Lakers and Kings before they moved east to downtown LA.

The Home of the Grammys (mostly)

Prince and Beyonce kicking off the Grammys in 2004.

It's hard to believe but until Staples was built, the Grammys never had a regular home. For most of the '70s, '80s and '90s it bopped around from NYC to LA with a stop in Nashville, broadcasting from the likes of Madison Square Garden in Manhattan to the Shrine near USC in LA.

But of the 23 Grammy ceremonies that have taken place since Staples opened only three of them have occurred elsewhere: once in Vegas, and twice back in NYC.

Michael Jackson Memorial Service

When Michael Jackson tragically died in 2009 the world was shocked but his loved ones, fans, and collaborators knew he deserved a first class send-off.

Because he had been rehearsing at Staples for his forthcoming This Is It Tour and because the owner of the arena, AEG, was also the promoter of the tour, it was a no-brainer that the memorial service would be held at Staples.

So about two weeks after his death, a star-studded assemblage of actors, rappers, singers, and dignitaries participated at the two-hour memorial that was broadcast live around the world. This included: Smokey Robinson, Mariah Carey, Macaulay Culkin, Queen Latifah, Lionel Richie, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Magic Johnson, Jennifer Hudson, Berry Gordy, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Brooke Shields, Jermaine Jackson, Martin Luther King III, Usher, Marlon Jackson, Janet Jackson, Paris Jackson, and Kobe Bryant.

Eleven years later another unexpected memorial service would be held at Staples, this time for Kobe who had died in an accidental helicopter crash.

Taylor Swift Gets A Banner For 16 Sold Out Concerts

Before she was selling out football stadiums, Taylor Swift was packing them into arenas like Staples.

On August 29, 2015, while playing her fifth consecutive night in LA on her 1989 World Tour, Kobe came out to announce to Taylor that she had broken a Staples record for most sold out shows. And that milestone, like the very special ones his Lakers have achieved, comes with a banner.

Kobe told the singer it would hang up there forever. But when LA Kings fans noticed their hockey team took a dramatic turn from winning championships in 2012 and 2014 into a hugely disappointing team year after year since Swift received her banner, they pressured ownership to first cover it and eventually take Taylor's banner down.

The Taylor Swift "Banner Curse" continues. In the seven years since Taylor received her banner, the Kings have been to the playoffs just four times and were knocked out in the first round each time. The banner's whereabouts are unknown. Taylor, however, is currently in movie theaters everywhere.

Adele Sets Record For Most 'Consecutive' Sold Out Shows: 8

When Taylor broke the all-time number of sold out concerts at Staples, that was a milestone she racked up over several years. When she played those final five gigs in 2015, she set a different record of "consecutive" sold out nights.

The following year Adele sold out eight shows in August at the venue like no big deal. The word consecutive is in quotes because the these shows weren't every single night in a row, the Grammy-winner needed to rest her voice, but they all within the month-long residency.

At the end of the last song, "Rolling In The Deep," confetti cannons were blasted with notes of thanks to fans and song lyrics on the bits of paper.

Staples Center Turns into the Arena

On Christmas Morning 2021 when all the good little boys and girls were waking up early to see what jolly St. Nick had brought them, Angelenos were noticing a change of the facade of a building they'd grown to love over two decades.

Staples who had bought the naming rights for $100 million for the first 10 years and renewed the partnership once it had expired, received an offer it could not refuse from AEG to sell those rights back to the entertainment company that has arenas around the world and is the parent company of the Coachella festival.

AEG then turned around and sold the naming rights to the stadium to, the bitcoin/blockchain/NFT trading platform that boasted 80 million users. The pricetag: $700 million dollars.

If you recall, the entire building cost a little more than half of that to erect, but over time Staples had become the most popular arena in the world hosting on average 250 events a year. If this new form of currency was going to be taken seriously, it could do worse than having its name affixed on the building that's home to some of the finest entertainment in LA.

Taylor Swift going through the crowd at Staples in 2009 hugging her fans along the way.

Since that purchase, things have not gone well for and it had nothing to do with Taylor Swift because her banner was long gone.

The Singapore-based company announced in June it was shuttering its institutional exchange service due to lack of demand. This immediately brought about speculation that it would want to sell the naming rights of the arena, but that has yet to come to fruition.

Although you know who has made $4 billion on her Eras Tour and could probably afford to shake it off their hands?

Crypto is very busy right now with the Lakers, Kings, and Clippers all back in the arena. But there's also concerts coming from SZA to Doja and even Miss Lauryn Hill and the Fugees coming to the the venue. Get your tickets here.

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Last updated: 4 Mar 2024, 02:41 Etc/UTC