'I can't see it'
Cryptocurrency is taking over the Staples Center.
The Los Angeles arena, home of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers, will be renamed the Crypto.com Arena beginning Dec. 25 in a 20-year agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group. The arena's external signage is set to be replaced by June 2022, the announcement said. The cryptocurrency platform whose name the arena will now carry, Crypto.com, was founded in 2016.
"This partnership represents the fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform and the biggest sports and live entertainment company in the world converging to drive the future of sports and live entertainment as well as the incredible legacy of this arena for decades to come," AEG Chief Revenue Officer Todd Goldstein said.
Some fans were a bit taken aback by news of the new name, though, as were players for the Clippers, with Paul George telling The Los Angeles Times that referring to their home as the Crypto.com Arena will "definitely be weird," and "it's kind of like just stripping the history here by calling it something else." Clippers guard Reggie Jackson, meanwhile, reacted with confusion and suggested he'll continue using the old name anyway.
"I don't know how it's gonna be not Staples, like, I can't, I can't see it," Jackson told the Los Angeles Times. "I apologize ahead, I'll still be calling it Staples."
The arena has been known as the Staples Center ever since it opened in 1999, The New York Times notes, and it's also the home of the Los Angeles Sparks and the Los Angeles Kings. While the terms of the deal weren't officially revealed, Axios reports the "total value exceeds $700 million." That means, according to ESPN, this is "believed to be the richest naming rights deal in sports history."