Staples Center, the downtown Los Angeles home of the NBA's Lakers and Clippers, the NHL's Kings and the WNBA's Sparks will change its name after 22 years of operation, arena owner AEG announced Tuesday night. Starting Christmas Day, it will be Crypto.com Arena.
According to news sources cited by ESPN, Crypto.com is paying $700 million over 20 years to rename the building in what's believed to be the richest naming rights deal in sports history.
The 20,000-seat arena has been Staples Center since it opened in October 1999, with the naming rights owned by the American office-supplies retail company under a 20-year agreement. The name will change when the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets n the NBA's annual Christmas showcase, according to ESPN sources.
As ESPN reported, the Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform and exchange Crypto.com, founded in 2016, has been on a spending spree across the global sports landscape over the past year. The platform has inked high-visibility sponsorship deals with Formula One, the UFC, Italy's Serie A, Paris St-Germain and the NHL's Montreal Canadians, while also purchasing the Philadelphia 76ers' uniform sponsorship patch.
AEG, the sports and entertainment conglomerate that has majority ownership of the Kings and had a stake in the Lakers until last summer, built the arena that has hosted 19 Grammy Awards ceremonies, three NBA All-Star Games, two NHL All-Star Games and countless high-profile concerts, performances and important public events, including memorials for Michael Jackson, Nipsey Hussle and Kobe Bryant, ESPN reported.
Clippers point guard Reggie Jackson admitted, "It's gonna be hard to not call it Staples."
Nonetheless, the Clippers will be calling another arena home soon enough. They're 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, according to ESPN.