Like it or not, the Staples Center signs that have welcomed fans in downtown Los Angeles for 22 years will be stripped from the arena next month and replaced to mark the building’s new name, Crypto.com Arena.
Crypto.com, a cryptocurrency platform and exchange headquartered in Singapore, is paying $700 million over the next 20 years to rename the building, a person with knowledge of the transaction told the Associated Press.
But what do fans think about changing the name of a building with so much history, including six Lakers championship teams, three Sparks championship teams, two Stanley Cup-winning Kings teams and 19 Grammy Awards shows?
“Sucks … I don’t like it. Staples Center is very classic … It’s a monument for L.A.,” one fan said following Tuesday’s announcement from arena owner AEG.
“No. No way. This is Kobe’s house, this is Staples Center,” Tyrone Jones said. “Crypto? I’m like Will Smith in ‘I, Robot.’ I’m scared of all this futuristic … It’s bad. It’s horrible … Even if y’all change the name we’re still going to call it Staples Center,” he said.
Shelly Jones couldn’t believe the news when she found out. “I thought it was a joke,” she said.
Even the Clippers’ Paul George had something to say about the name change.
“I grew up this being Staples and Staples being the place to play and the place to be. It’s kind of like just stripping the history here,” George said.
The change to Crypto.com Arena is set to take place when the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA’s annual Christmas Day basketball game.
But for Vanessa Bryant, the widow of legendary Laker Kobe Bryant, the building has another name.
Staples Center will be “Forever known as The House That Kobe Built,” she posted on the Stories link on her Instagram account.
There is at least one person who has warmed to the new name, or at least its likely nickname.
“I like having it called The Crypt,” KTLA’s own Henry DiCarlo said. “You play the Lakers at The Crypt, you’re not coming out. You’re not coming out with a win.”
By the way L.A. fans, it could be worse.
The arena where the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans play is called the “Smoothie King Center.”