Staples Center Will Transform From Kobe Bryant Memorial to NBA Game in Just Hours

Local news
People gather around a makeshift memorial for late basketball legend Kobe Bryant at the Staples center in Los Angeles on January 26, 2020, a few hours after the announcement of his death in a helicopter crash. (Credit: CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

People gather around a makeshift memorial for late basketball legend Kobe Bryant at the Staples center in Los Angeles on January 26, 2020, a few hours after the announcement of his death in a helicopter crash. (Credit: CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

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Since Staples Center’s doors first opened in 1999, the building has been reconfigured to host multiple events in the same day more than 220 times, conversions that often involve switching from a hockey venue in the early afternoon to an NBA arena mere hours later, and vice versa.

Monday’s schedule of events, however, presents “a doubleheader unlike any other doubleheader that we’ve done,” said Lee Zeidman, the president of Staples Center, Microsoft Theatre and L.A. Live.

At 10 a.m., the arena will hold a celebration of life for Kobe Bryant, the iconic Lakers star, and his daughter Gianna, who were among nine killed in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash in Calabasas. That evening, at 7:30 p.m., the Clippers host the Memphis Grizzlies.

During the memorial, a 24-by-24-foot stage — 24 was one of the numbers Bryant wore during his 20 seasons with the Lakers — will sit in the middle of the arena floor with seating surrounding it on all sides. Staples Center executives say they are “hopeful” the event will finish by 1 p.m. and that everyone will leave promptly. The memorial will not be broadcast on outdoor monitors at nearby L.A. Live and those without tickets will not be permitted inside a closed perimeter encircling the arena.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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