The Staples Center is a multi-use arena in downtown Los Angeles, primarily occupied by the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA and the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL. While they’re the primary teams to play there, it is also currently the home of them Los Angeles Sparks and hosted the Los Angeles D-Fenders up to the 2010 season. The Staples Center hosts over 250 events a year, which brings in nearly 4,000,000 patrons each calendar year. There are plans to build a state-of-the-art football stadium right next to it if L.A. is granted an expansion NFL team.
The arena opened in 1999 as host of the three major pro sports teams, which the Sparks joining two years later. The first event ever to take place at the Staples Center was on October 17, 1999 when Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band played. Other non-sporting or concert events are also held at the Staples Center, including a public memorial for Michael Jackson. The center is part of L.A. Live, which is a retail and live event area in downtown L.A. that includes the Nokia Theatre and Club Nokia, the Grammy Museum, ESPN broadcasting studios, as well as retail shops, restaurants, hotels and residences.
Sports at the Staples Center
The Los Angeles Lakers have the second-most NBA titles all time with 16, including five since the Staples Center opened in 1999.Many of the all-time greats have worn Laker purple and gold, including Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Clippers are a team without the history, but they look to be on the rise with stars like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. The Los Angeles Kings won their first Stanley Cup title on the ice of the Staples Center in 2012, while the Sparks won the WNBA’s first two championships in 2001 and 2002. Statues of sporting greats are outside of the arena, including Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Oscar de la Hoya, Jerry West and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Staples Center has also hosted a huge array of sporting events ranging from the X Games to the WWE. In fact when the Staples Center hosted Wrestlemania 21 in 2005 the arena packed in a total of 20,193 fans setting an attendance record.
Concerts at the Staples Center
The Staples Center is also one of the premiere concert venues in the Los Angeles area, attracting some of the biggest names in music and entertainment. It has hosted every possible music act imaginable from Bruce Springsteen to the Rolling Stones to Miley Cyrus. Most importantly, those who attend the Staples Center should keep their eyes open for celebrities who are sitting in the stands. Jack Nicholson sits courtside for every Lakers game and one is bound to see other notable actors or entertainers enjoying the show. As one of the most glamorous venues in the country, the Staples Center has become the sports and entertainment Mecca of downtown Los Angeles.
Staples Center Venue Guide
Where are the most popular sections to sit in the Staples Center?
Usually we might suggest a good medium between the upper level and the floor seats, but in the Staples Center you want to get as close as possible to the court. While the basketball is great, we suggest it because of the celebrities. Everyone wants to see one when they take a trip to L.A., and there’s always some at Lakers games. Jack Nicholson is a regular, but you’ll see anyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Larry David at any Lakers (or L.A. sports team in general) game throughout the season.
What is the best restaurant to eat at before a game or concert at the Staples Center?
There are lots of options near the Staples Center, including the Yard House, Lawry’s Carvery, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and so much more. Park, check out all the restaurants in the L.A. Live area and then walk over to the game!