Los Angeles' iconic Staples Center — home of the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Sparks and Kings — is getting a new name: Crypto.com Arena. The facility announced the news on Wednesday, saying the new name will go into effect on December 25.
The arena's new name is part of what officials are calling a "historic" 20-year naming rights agreement between AEG and Crypto.com. The agreement, according to a press release, also dubs Crypto.com the "official cryptocurrency platform partner of the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Kings."
The partnership "underscores the rapidly growing influence and widespread adoption of Crypto.com's cryptocurrency platform and NFT marketplace worldwide," the release says.
The agreement will cost $700 million over the next two decades, according to the Los Angeles Times, and is thought to be the biggest naming rights deal in history.
A new logo and other assets for the arena will be unveiled on Christmas Day, the announcement says, when the Lakers play the Brooklyn Nets, and the venue's external signage will be replaced by June 2022.
Crypto.com co-founder and CEO Kris Marszalek said that Los Angeles and its residents "have always been pioneers, pushing the boundaries and innovating as the undeniable global leaders of culture and entertainment."
"We're very excited about partnering with AEG and investing long term in this city, starting with Crypto.com Arena in the heart of downtown," Marszalek said, "and using our platform in new and creative ways so that cryptocurrency can power the future of world class sports, entertainment and technology for fans in LA and around the world."
Staples Center got its name in 1999, when Staples paid $120 million for a 20-year naming rights deal, according to CBS Los Angeles. The arena hosted eight championship teams since its inception, and has held a number of iconic events, including the Grammy Awards every year since the arena opened. It is also anticipated to be a part of the 2028 Olympics, according to CBS Sports.
The name change, however, has not settled well with many Los Angeles sports fans.
"Never. Calling. It. Crypto," one person tweeted. "I can't handle a name change of the house that Kobe built. It's Staples Center forever."
Vanessa Bryant, the wife of the late Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who died along with their 13-year-old daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash in January 2020, posted a similar sentiment on her Instagram story. Along with a post of the name change news, she wrote, "Forever known as 'the house that Kobe built.'"
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