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 to Crypto.Com Arena, venue owner AEG announced Tuesday night. Multiple reports peg the deal to be $700 million over 20 years, making it what is 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 Staples under a 20-year agreement. The name will change when the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA’s annual Christmas showcase.
Staples bought the naming rights to the venue when it opened in December 1997, paying $100 million over 10 years. The company signed a deal in 2009 for naming rights “in perpetuity” but AEG bought the naming rights back from the company for an undisclosed sum in 2019.
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 quickly became a famous setting for major events. It has hosted 19 Grammy Awards ceremonies, three NBA All-Star Games, two NHL All-Star Games and countless high-profile public events. The Lakers have won six NBA championships at the arena while the Sparks have won three WNBA titles and the Kings have won two Stanley Cups.
The Clippers have also played at the arena but not won a championship. The team will be moving to its own venue in Inglewood in 2024, the $1.2 billion Intuit Dome. The team was playing against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on Tuesday night as the news broke about the naming rights deal.
“It’s kind of like just stripping the history here by calling it something else,” said Clippers star Paul George.
Crypto.com is a cryptocurrency platform and exchange headquartered in Singapore. Founded in 2016, the platform has sponsorship deals with Formula One, the UFC, Italy’s Serie A, Paris St-Germain and the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens while also purchasing the Philadelphia 76ers’ uniform sponsorship patch.