Residing on 1111 S. Figueroa St. is a totem of Los Angeles sports history. The Staples Center has been the venue for many iconic moments over the past two decades. It’s mostly known for hosting the Lakers and Clippers, but other teams call this place home as well. Staples Center has also been used for many other storied events since it was built in 1999.
The Lakers and Clippers play in the Staples Center — for now
In fact, there is only one other venue in American pro sports that hosts two teams from the same league: MetLife Stadium, where both the New York Giants and New York Jets play. The next NFL season will host another two-team location, SoFi Stadium, where both the Rams and Chargers will play.
Both the Lakers and Clippers have played at the Staples Center since the venue was built in 1999. Before then, the Lakers played at the Forum in Inglewood, California, while the Clippers resided at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
Each franchise has shown that a lot can change in 20 years. At the start of the century, the Lakers won three championships in a row at the height of an era typified by Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and coach Phil Jackson.
The Clippers were basically a joke until the Chris Paul trade linked him with the emerging Blake Griffin. The duo couldn’t get past the second round of the playoffs, but it was still the best period in the team’s history — at least until Kawhi Leonard and Paul George decided to join the team.
In times of crisis, the Staples Center takes on an almost religious level of importance. Following the sudden and tragic death of Bryant and his daughter Gianna, fans congregated at the Staples Center to leave tributes to the Los Angeles legend.
The novelty of two great teams playing in the same stadium will soon come to an end. The Clippers expect to begin construction on their own privately-owned arena in Inglewood in 2021. The Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center should be completed in 2024, which coincides with expiration of the Clippers’ lease with the Staples Center.
Staples Center is home to more than just basketball
The Staples Center has more to offer than just the NBA. The WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks also play there. Some of the best WNBA players, like Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson, Candace Parker, have played in their prime on the team. They’ve been to the WNBA Finals five times and won on three occasions.
The Staples Center is also home to the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. Like the Lakers, they used to play at the Forum before moving downtown before the 1999-2000 season. Unlike the Lakers, they are not one of the storied franchises in the sport. They had to wait until 2012 to win their first Stanley Cup, but they quickly followed it up with another one in 2014.
The Staples Center was also the base for two smaller leagues. The Los Angeles Avengers played there until the Arena Football League went defunct. So did the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA G-League before moving their games to a Lakers practice facility in El Segundo.
It has also been used for three NBA All-Star games, two NHL All-Star games, and the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships.
The stadium has also been an important venue for the music industry
The Staples Center is the home for a variety of events. Boxing events, family shows, and the 2000 Democratic National Convention have all taken place there.
The music world has also taken a liking to the Staples Center. Eighteen of the last 20 Grammy Awards shows have taken place there. Beyoncé, Prince, Taylor Swift, and Paul McCartney are just a few of the celebrated artists who have performed in the venue.
The arena has developed a high reputation from people all over the world. It’s likely to keep the standard for a long time.
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