The owners of Los Angeles’ iconic Staples Center announced late Tuesday night that after more than two decades the venue will be renamed Crypto.com Arena.
AEG — which owns the arena that opened in 1999 and serves as the home of Los Angeles’ Lakers, Kings, and for a few more years, Clippers, as well as hundreds of entertainment events a year — revealed that the name change will go into effect on Dec. 25, the same day the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets in a Christmas game.
Welcome to the future: excited to share the new era of @cryptocom Arena in downtown Los Angeles. The journey begins Christmas Day.
— AEG (@AEGworldwide) November 17, 2021
According to ESPN, the Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform and NFT marketplace will spend $700 million for the 20-year naming rights on the arena; the arena itself cost $350 million, and more than two decades later it doubled that construction cost just on the naming rights.
The move is the latest in Crypto.com‘s aggressive push for name recognition in the overgrowing cryptocurrency landscape, with the company also recently hiring Matt Damon for a David Fincher-produced commercial. Crypto.com also purchased the sponsorship patch on the Philadelphia 76ers’ jerseys.
“This partnership represents the fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform and the biggest sports and live-entertainment company in the world converging to drive the future of sports and live entertainment, as well as the incredible legacy of this arena for decades to come,” Todd Goldstein, chief revenue officer of AEG, said in a statement. “It marks an exciting new chapter in the history of our company and our respective industries, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a visionary partner like Crypto.com supporting our global fan base and local community.”
Following the announcement, people who grew attached to a name connected to a near-antiquated office-supply-store chain turned to social media to poke fun at the arena’s rebranding, even though in actuality the name is just as weird as many arena and amphitheater sponsorship deals around the country: New Orleans’ Smoothie King Arena; Wantagh, New York’s Northwell Health at Jones Beach; Seattle’s new Climate Pledge Arena; Washington state’s RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater; and dozens more.
NBA players were initially taken aback by Tuesday’s announcement, with the Clippers’ Paul George, a Los Angeles native, saying of the name change, “It’ll be weird. I grew up this being Staples and Staples being the place to play, and the place to be. It’ll definitely be weird. It’s the same location, but it’s kind of like you’re stripping the history here by calling it something else. From there going forward I guess it’s a new history to be written.” (The Clippers, however, are moving to Inglewood’s new Intuit Dome in 2024.)
Paul George on Staples Center being renamed Crypto .com Arena:
"It'll definitely be weird. It's the same location but it's kind of like stripping the history here by calling it something else…Good thing we won't be here too long."pic.twitter.com/r2JPCtWDF2
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 17, 2021
While “Staples Center” will disappear, as Vanessa Bryant noted on social media, the arena will forever be “The House That Kobe Built”:
Vanessa Bryant’s response to news of the Staples Center name change. pic.twitter.com/hV1t1G2OEM
— KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO (@KNX1070) November 17, 2021