When you journey into downtown Los Angeles, California, you will most likely come across the Staples Center. This is a multi-purpose sports arena that is next to the L.A. Live development as well as next to the Convention Center complex that is located on Figueroa Street. It opened in October of 1999 and it is one of the biggest sporting facilities located in Greater Los Angeles.
The Staples Center is operated and owned by the Anschutz Entertainment Group and the L.A. Arena Company. The Staples Center is also home of the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National basketball Association, Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Staples Center also hosts well over 250 events and has well over 4 million guests every year. It is the only arena for the National Basketball Association that happens to be shared by 2 different teams, and it is one of the only North American sport venues that hosts 2 teams from the same league.
The Staples center is 950,000 square feet with a 200ft by 94ft arena floor. It is also over 150 feet tall. The area will seat about 19,000 for basketball, 20,000 for concerts, 18,000 for ice hockey and 20,000 for other events. About two-thirds of the seating for this arena do include 2500 club seats which are in the lower level and then 160 luxury suites that do include 15 event suites on 3 different levels. The record for most attendance was held by the fight between World WBA Welterweight Champion Antonia Margarito and Shane Mosley that drew a crowd of almost 21,000 people in 2009. This was also the year that Michael Jackson passed and his memorial service was held at the Staples Center.
Located just outside of the Staples Center is the Star Plaza that is home to various statues such as Magic Johnson and Wayne Gretzky. Eventually in December of 2008, Oscar De la Hoya was added and then in April of 2012, Chick Hearn behind a desk was added that had an additional chair for fans to take photos with. Then Jerry West was added in February 2011. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was added in November of 2012. Luc Robitaille was unveiled March of 2015 and the most recent would be the one of Shaquille O’Neal which was added and unveiled March of 2017.
It took 1 year for the Staples center to open to the public after it broke ground in 1998. It cost over $375 million and it was named after the office supple store Staples, Inc. which actually paid for the naming rights and became a huge corporate sponsor. When it eventually opened in 199, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band held a concert at the opening event. In 2009, it celebrated its 10 year anniversary and to really commemorate the occasion, the Staples Center website nominated 25 of the arena’s greatest moments with the fans voting for the top 10 position.