Staples Center is a large multi-purpose sports arena in Downtown Los Angeles. Adjacent to the L.A. Live development, it is located next to the Los Angeles Convention Center complex along Figueroa Street. Opening on October 17, 1999, it is one of the major sporting facilities in the Greater Los Angeles Area. It is owned and operated by the L.A. Arena Company and Anschutz Entertainment Group. The arena is home to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).
The Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League (AFL) and the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League were also tenants until both franchises were discontinued; the D-Fenders moved to the Lakers' practice facility at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California for the 2011–12 season. Staples Center is also host to over 250 events and nearly 4,000,000 guests a year. It is the only arena in the NBA shared by two teams.
Structure and architecture
Staples Center measures 950,000 square feet (88,257.9 m2) of total space, with a 94-foot (28.7 m) by 200-foot (61.0 m) arena floor. It stands 150 feet (45.7 m) tall. The arena seats up to 19,060 for basketball, 18,118 for ice hockey and arena football, and around 20,000 for concerts or other sporting events. Two-thirds of the arena's seating, including 2,500 club seats, are in the lower bowl. There are also 160 luxury suites, including 15 event suites, on three levels between the lower and upper bowls. The arena's attendance record is held by the fight between World WBA Welterweight Champion, Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley with a crowd of 20,820 set on January 25, 2009.
Outside the arena at the Star Plaza are statues of Wayne Gretzky and Magic Johnson, although both sports legends played at The Forum, where the Kings, Lakers and Sparks previously played. A third statue of boxer Oscar De La Hoya was unveiled outside Staples Center on December 1, 2008. On April 20, 2010 a fourth statue of the late long time Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn, behind a Laker desk with a chair for fans to sit down for a picture, was unveiled. A fifth statue of the Laker legend Jerry West dribbling was unveiled on February 17, 2011. A sixth statue of Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was unveiled on November 16, 2012.
Construction broke ground in 1998 and the Staples Center was opened a year later. It was financed privately at a cost of $375 million and is named for the office-supply company Staples, Inc., which was one of the center's corporate sponsors that paid for naming rights. The venue opened as the home of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, as well as the NHL's Los Angeles Kings in 1999. The WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks joined in 2001, while the NBA D-League's Los Angeles D-Fenders joined in 2006. It became home to the AFL's Los Angeles Avengers in 2000 until the team's discontinuation in 2008. Staples Center was named New Major Concert Venue in 2000 and Arena of the Year in 2000 and 2001 by Pollstar Magazine and has been nominated each year since its 1999 opening.