Staples Center is the arena Shaq and Kobe built (even though the Lakers never owned the building). It has been home to five NBA titles — and five WNBA titles, and a couple of Stanley Cup runs, a Democratic National Convention, and more big-name concerts than you can imagine — and sparked a renaissance in downtown Los Angeles. Staples Center is one of sports’ iconic venues.
Except starting on Christmas Day it will no longer be Staples Center. It will be the Crypto.com Arena.
Multiple reports have this as the largest naming rights deal in the NBA — $700 million over 20 years. AEG — which owns the building, plus the L.A. Kings, multiple MLS teams and more — reportedly bought back the last couple of years of the Staples naming rights deal to make the Crypto.com deal happen.
You can bet the owners of other arenas around the NBA and North America took notice. We could see a bubble of naming rights deals after this.
For fans (and media members, speaking/typing on instinct), the name change will take some getting used to. The denizens of NBA Twitter have already nicknamed the building “the Crypt.” Insert your own “that’s not just a reference to an old Lakers’ roster” joke here.
It’s also going to be a little awkward when the Philadelphia 76ers come to town.
The new name and logo officially drop on Christmas Day, when LeBron James and the Lakers host Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. We’ll set the over/under for the broadcasters slipping up and calling it Staples Center on air that day at 2.5.