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Staples Center

Los Angeles, CA

Home of the Los Angeles Clippers

4.4

4.2

Staples Center (map it)
1111 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015


Los Angeles Clippers website

Staples Center website

Year Opened: 1999

Capacity: 19,079

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Winning Over L.A.

The Los Angeles Clippers have had a long history of losing that has recently subsided in a big way. The Clippers started as the Buffalo Braves in 1970, later moving to San Diego in 1978 and eventually moving to Los Angeles in 1984. After 15 seasons at the L.A. Sports Arena, the Clippers would move to Staples Center in 1999, joining the Lakers, Sparks, and Kings as tenants. Though the Clippers have never reached a conference title playoff series, 4 consecutive playoff appearances, a franchise record, have raised the expectations of Clippers Nation.

While hosting a gamut of events, the arena is most known for its ability to host up to 19,079 basketball fans. Two-thirds of the seats are lower-bowl seating, so most fans get an up-close view of the action. Unfortunately for the average fan, there are also 2,500 club seats and 160 luxury suites, so the space for the more inexpensive seats is limited.

4.4

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    5

The food and beverage options are plentiful, with options ranging from your norm (McDonald's) to healthy, vegan, sushi and tasty BBQ. For those of you just looking for something to snack on, Camacho's Nachos offers your choice of carne asada or achiote chicken for $10.50, with large portions. Wetzel's Pretzels has pretzel offerings for $5.25, pretzel bites for $6.50 and a pretzel dog for $7. Dipping sauces for your pretzels are also available for an extra $2. Bottomless popcorn ($6.75) and bottomless coke products ($7.50) are both available. If you are not in need of a bottomless refill, a large soda is also another option for $5.25. One of the fan favorites, the Skyscraper Dog, a hearty 12 inch all beef dog is a reasonable $8.25.

The alcoholic beverage selection is also a vast one, with domestic to premium draft choices on tap for $10.50-$12. Cocktails also range from $9.75-$11.75, frozen margaritas and strawberry daiquiris for $11.50.

For that hearty appetite of yours, Smoke House BBQ, located in the 300 level on the north end, offers up these tasty sandwiches: rotisserie chicken, BBQ pork shoulder or BBQ brisket for $13.50. Side options for $3.50 include smoked beans, honey cheddar cornbread, horseradish slaw, fire roasted mac & cheese, as well as French fries ($5.50) and garlic parmesan fries ($6.50). If you do head out to the Smoke House BBQ, an outdoor patio is located there offering views of downtown L.A. and beyond. However, one caveat and I must warn you, the patio is also the Staples Center's primary smoking area so if you are affected by cigarette smoke, you have been warned.

Atmosphere    4

Of the four primary tenants of Staples Center, even with their recent run of success, the Clippers have yet to hang a championship banner among the walls or rafters. To enhance the atmosphere, the Clippers adorn the upper south wall of Staples Center with banners of images of the current players. The banners cover up any display of Lakers, Sparks or other Staples Center glory to the delight of Clipper Nation, but also the topic of ridicule among the ardent purple and gold followers.

Whatever your point of view, you have to give the Clippers credit for creating an atmosphere they can call their own. Even with the Lakers struggling, much to the delight of the loyal Clippers fans, the Clippers, to an extent, still find themselves trying to establish a true identity among L.A. sports fans, providing a vastly different experience than attending a Lakers game. With their recent run of success, Clipper Nation has been much more vocal as opposed to past Clippers crowds. Even with their recent run, the enthusiasm among Clipper Nation has not diminished as they remain a boisterous bunch. Though not as abundant as during Lakers games Clippers games lately have attracted the Hollywood crowd. In spite of the growth of the Hollywood crowd at Clippers games, Clippers fans have not garnered the reputation of the "there to be seen" or "stargazer" types that have been attached to Lakers fans for many years.

Neighborhood    5

Over several years of stopping by Staples Center, it is rather amazing how much the neighborhood has changed and developed. You hear of many development projects, but rarely do you see them come to fruition like this one. Sitting next to the convention center, the arena is part of the 4,000,000 square foot L.A. LIVE.

This area includes the Nokia Plaza, which you'll often find filled with fans before or after the game with all sorts of newscasts and promotions going on. Not far away is the Nokia Theater which has hosted the ESPY Awards, American Idol, the Emmy Awards, and the MTV Music Video Awards.

Also nearby is the Grammy Museum, the Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott Hotels, a 14-screen movie theater, and the ESPN Los Angeles broadcasting studio.

Just across the street from the arena, you'll find a grouping of restaurants and bars. From sit down "fast casual" chains such as Smashburger to sit down pubs and eateries, there is something for any appetite.

Not far away is the Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge. This spot is far from the grimy bowling lane you may have become accustomed to in the past. A rather upscale bowling alley, you'll find all of your favorite drinks here and comfort that few bowling alleys can offer.

Other notable spots nearby include Yard House (200+ beer options), Wolfgang Puck (contemporary bar and grill), Fleming's (aim for the best wine and food pairings), Rock N' Fish (try the Navy grog and oak grilled artichoke), Rivera Restaurant (Latin), Farm of Beverly Hills, Lawry's Carvery (known for its prime rib), Palm Restaurant (great seafood appetizers), or Katsuya (Japanese).

One of the Los Angeles food landmarks includes The Pantry or Café Pantry. Fans of all walks love this place because they can get hearty meals 24 hours a day. In fact, they could have asked for a meal at pretty much any time over the past 88 years with the exception of one day (I'll let you do your own research on why it was closed that one day). Give yourself some time to check this place out as the lines often spill outside of the building and around the block. Please note however that this is a cash-only establishment.

Of course if none of this suits you, keep in mind that you are in downtown LA. Just minutes away, you can probably get your hands on any type of food you fancy.

Fans    4

Probably the fan most worth mentioning is "Clipper Darrell." If you haven't heard about this fan of fans, I'd recommend checking out his site just to read some of the press on him. The unofficial ambassador of the Clippers and Clippers Nation, he is easily one of the more recognizable and active fans in the NBA in his half red half blue attired blazer. On most nights he can be spotted from his aisle seat getting the crowd pumped up. If you should ever get a chance to pass by him in the concourse after the game, he is always more than happy to take a picture with his fellow Clippers fans.

Being a Clippers fan over the years has meant enduring plenty of patience, frustration, and often times, ridicule. In spite of the fact the Clippers have yet to raise an NBA Championship banner, the loyalty has never diminished and with the Clippers now en route to another winning season, enthusiasm for the organization is at a peak it could only wish it could achieve in seasons past. All that is left now is to reward these loyal fans with a Larry O'Brien trophy. With the Lakers in their current state, the time to capture the hearts of more L.A. hoops fans could not be any better.

Access    4

Staples Center is located in the heart of downtown Los Angles, so it is accessible from most major freeways. The arena is easily accessible from the 405, 110, and 10 freeways.

There are roughly 3,300 parking spaces at Staples Center and approximately 16,000 within a five to ten minute walk. Depending on where you park and the proximity to the Staples Center, the price of parking can range from $5 to as much as $20.

Public transit is also a great option with several bus options as well as light rail. The Pico Station is located one block from the arena and the 7th Street Station is a short walk away as well.

Upon arriving at the Staples Center, you will have to go through some metal detectors, so make sure you pack light. This is one of the few arenas to do this practice, but is well worth it for the additional safety. Also be sure to review the Staples Center camera policy before bringing your camera as many have been turned away.

The arena offers the 100 and 200 level with some great seats, the three levels of suites and the small upper level (300). Huge escalators will take will take you up and down from the upper levels and unfortunately the size and speed of these create a backlog of fans.

Return on Investment    5

A common practice today, the price of attending a Clippers game will vary based on several factors, particularly team performance and that evening's opponent. In spite of their recent success, box office ticket prices can start as low as $12 and even cheaper from various secondary sites. If you're looking to see a game not involving a prime opponent, such as the Warriors or Lakers, you will definitely find going to a Clippers game to be not only an enjoyable experience, but a surprisingly economical one as well. This is a great way to see some of the NBA's best players at a reasonable rate. The Clippers have several players on the roster that any NBA fan would love to see, so it would be unreasonable to pass on the Clippers if the opportunity presents itself.

Extras    4

Staples Center is an epic arena regardless of where your seat is. There is an aura about it that makes you feel important just by being there. You can really get a feel for the importance of the Staples Center as you walk through the concourse and you see some of the images throughout arena commemorating the big events that have been held there.

Fans should certainly take note of the 4HD scoreboard with vivid color and crystal clear images allowing fans in every section of the arena to know what's going on. Perhaps most impressive here is that there is no banner over the bottom of the scoreboard and fans in the lower section no longer have to cramp their neck to look up at the scoreboard. There are HD screens on the underside of the scoreboard so that fans and players can quickly take a glance up to see a replay or the score. On the ground level, any fan can access a few of the additional items at the Staples Center. There is the Sports Museum at Staples Center, the Verizon Studio (get some free photos), Art of the Game Sports Art and Memorabilia Gallery, as well as an auction stand where you can bid on your favorite memorabilia.

Final Thoughts

Even with their rise in popularity, there is no mistaking that the Clippers are not the top tenant. Statues and banners paying tribute to the other 3 Staples Center teams still dwarf any history the Clippers are doing their best to create. Things continue to look up for Clipper Nation. Their loyal following has endured through the long-standing rough times. Fervent support continues to rise for the Clippers with expectations at an all-time high. The days of accepting failure are long gone now. All that awaits for Clipper Nation is that big prize awarded to the last one standing come June.

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Crowd Reviews

Highlight Clip

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

When you check into your hotel upon arriving in Los Angeles, you may notice a pamphlet for Clippers basketball among the attraction ideas. Unfortunately, the other team in Los Angeles seems to garner most of the basketball attention, so the Clippers try to appeal to more than just the typical fan. By no means would the Clippers only consider the Los Angeles area their fanbase, as the franchise began in Buffalo in 1970 and later moved to San Diego in 1978. Eventually the Clippers would land in their current city, albeit playing in the California Memorial Sport Arena.

Then in 1999, the Clippers would get a new home in the Staples Center, just a year after construction began on the privately financed $375 million arena. The Clippers would now have to share their new home with some other tenants in the Lakers, Sparks, and Kings.

When you first arrive to the Staples Center, you will quickly notice the large red "Rise Up" banner near the top of the building. This is how the Clippers personalize the building on the nights that they are the home team. It's a needed touch as the plaza below has 2 statues dedicated to the Lakers and one to the Kings. Beyond just sporting events, the arena keeps itself busy, hosting over 250 events and watching approximately 4 million visitors pass through the doors annually.

While hosting a gamut of events, the arena is most known for its ability to host up to 19,079 basketball fans. Two-thirds of the seats are lower-bowl seating, so most fans get an up-close view of the action. Unfortunately for the average fan, there are also 2,500 club seats and 160 luxury suites, so the space for the more inexpensive seats is limited.

As you walk into the arena, you begin to feel the Clipper environment. The fans are clad in red and blue colors. As you walk towards your seats through the black curtains, you'll see the court is now surrounded by red, and the paint is colored blue. The open wall space throughout the interior of the arena is covered by Clippers banners. The upper wall space in corners of the arena has projection Clippers logos, and the ridiculously impressive scoreboard is now flashing red and blue.

The public address announcer, David Courtney, will soon welcome you to Clipper basketball and you'll be in for an entirely different experience than what the other LA-based basketball team presents.

Clippers at Staples Center: Where If Happens

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 0

The Staples Center in the heart of downtown Los Angeles changed everything when it opened in 1999. Los Angeles, you see, is not a city as much as it is a large expanse of space made up of several cities all of which often refer to themselves as "L.A." Inglewood, Hawthorne, Orange are all most definitely not L.A., but when people who live there are asked where they are from they invariably say L.A. It's just easier to say that than to explain how you are about 30 minutes Southeast of Los Angeles.

Staples brought L.A. together. It represents a town center, a central meeting place for all of L.A. to gather. In addition to uniting a very diverse and displaced Los Angeles it also revitalized its downtown.

Downtown L.A. was a place everyone wanted to see when they traveled here but truthfully before Staples arrived there wasn't much to see. If you strayed too far from the well lit areas then you risked seeing much more than you would have ever hoped for. Frankly, before Staples, Downtown L.A. was ugly. You went there to get a bargain on clothes, jewelry or a pirated DVD and then you left. Quick.

Today downtown is a thriving area with Staples as its anchor. It's a place to go walk around, eat, shop and sure even watch a Clippers game.

Staples Center is no longer the new kid on the stadium block. Its bells and whistles have been matched by some and surpassed by others. It remains however an impressive venue to watch a basketball game. The Clippers are a basketball team; no really they are. They were in fact the only basketball team in L.A. that was rocking Staples in 2006. That was when the Clippers made a run in the NBA playoffs that saw them fall one game short of the Western Conference Finals. 2006 seems a long way away today however. In 2010 the Clippers are, well, not so good.

What will it be like watching a sub-par team in an above-par stadium? I am here to find out!

Rise Up

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

I could not come up with a more appropriate way to start this review other than, "My, what a difference a year makes!"

In 2010-11, the Clippers were lining up brochures in Los Angeles tourism spots next to coupons for Disneyland and Universal Studios.

The 2012 season will probably go down as the biggest spike in Clippers fan growth, which started back in Buffalo in 1970. The franchise later moved to San Diego in 1978 and eventually the Clippers would land in their current city, albeit playing in the California Memorial Sport Arena.

Then in 1999, the Clippers would get a new home in the Staples Center, just a year after construction began on the privately financed $375 million arena. The Clippers would now have to share their new home with some other tenants in the Lakers, Sparks, and Kings.

When you first arrive to the Staples Center, you will quickly notice the large red "Rise Up" banner near the top of the building. This is how the Clippers personalize the building on the nights that they are the tenant. It's a needed touch as the plaza below has 3 statues dedicated to the Lakers and one to the Kings. Beyond just sporting events, the arena keeps itself busy, hosting over 250 events and watching approximately 4 million visitors pass through the doors annually.

While hosting a gamut of events, the arena is most known for its ability to host up to 19,079 basketball fans. Two-thirds of the seats are lower-bowl seating, so most fans get an up-close view of the action. Unfortunately for the average fan, there are also 2,500 club seats and 160 luxury suites, so the space for the more inexpensive seats is limited.

As you walk into the arena, you begin to feel the Clipper environment. The fans are clad in red and blue colors. As you walk towards your seats through the black curtains, you'll see the court is now surrounded by red and the paint is colored blue. The open wall space throughout the interior of the arena is covered by Clippers banners. The upper wall space in corners of the arena has projection Clippers logos and the ridiculously impressive scoreboard is now flashing red and blue.

The public address announcer, David Courtney, will soon welcome you to Clipper basketball and you'll be in for an entirely different experience than the other LA-based basketball team presents.

L.A. Clippers - No Longer Second Fiddle

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 5

The Los Angeles Clippers have had a long history of losing that has recently subsided in a big way. The Clippers started back in Buffalo in 1970. The franchise later moved to San Diego in 1978 and eventually the Clippers would land in their current city, albeit playing in the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Then in 1999, the Clippers would get a new home in the Staples Center, just a year after construction began on the privately-financed $375 million arena. The Clippers would now have to share their new home with some other tenants in the Lakers, Sparks, and Kings. Drawing unfair comparisons to the Lakers have made the Clippers a second fiddle team until recently. The Clippers franchise has never reached a conference title playoff series although they have won their division in back to back years. They seem poised to take the next step.

When you first arrive to the Staples Center, you will quickly notice the large red "Rise Up" banner near the top of the building. This is how the Clippers personalize the building on the nights that they are the tenant. It's a needed touch as the plaza below has 3 statues dedicated to the Lakers and one to the Kings. Beyond just sporting events, the arena keeps itself busy, hosting over 250 events and watching approximately 4 million visitors pass through the doors annually.

While hosting a gamut of events, the arena is most known for its ability to host up to 19,079 basketball fans. Two-thirds of the seats are lower-bowl seating, so most fans get an up-close view of the action. Unfortunately for the average fan, there are also 2,500 club seats and 160 luxury suites, so the space for the more inexpensive seats is limited.

As you walk into the arena, you begin to feel the Clipper environment. The fans are clad in red and blue colors. As you walk toward your seats through the black curtains, you'll see the court is now surrounded by red and the paint is colored blue. The open wall space throughout the interior of the arena is covered by Clippers player’s banners. One thing of note is that you will not see any Lakers championship banners hanging during Clippers games. The aforementioned Clippers banners cover the Lakers banners so you would never know that the Lakers share the arena there. The upper wall space in corners of the arena has projection Clippers logos and the ridiculously impressive scoreboard is now flashing red and blue.

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Local Food & Drink

Camacho's Cantina  (map it!)

1111 South Figueroa St.

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 626-5554

http://www.camachos-cantina.com/

Pantry Cafe  (map it!)

877 S Figueroa St

Los Angeles, CA 90017

(213) 972-9279

http://www.pantrycafe.com/

Yard House  (map it!)

800 West Olympic Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 745-9273

http://www.yardhouse.com/default.aspx

Fleming's  (map it!)

800 W Olympic Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 745-9911

http://www.flemingssteakhouse.com/locations/ca/los-angeles

Lawry’s Carvery  (map it!)

1011 S Figueroa St

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 222-2212

http://www.lawrysonline.com/

Palm Restaurant  (map it!)

1100 S Flower St

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 763-4600

http://www.thepalm.com/Los-Angeles-Downtown

Katsuya  (map it!)

6300 Hollywood Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90028

(323) 871-8777

http://www.sbe.com/katsuya

Rivera Restaurant  (map it!)

1050 S Flower St

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 749-1460

http://riverarestaurant.com/

Rock N’ Fish  (map it!)

800 W Olympic Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 748-4020

http://rocknfishlalive.com/

Local Entertainment

Grammy Museum  (map it!)

800 W Olympic Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 765-6800

http://www.grammymuseum.org/

Nokia Plaza  (map it!)

777 Chick Hearn Court

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 763-6030

http://www.nokiatheatrelalive.com/

Lodging

Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles  (map it!)

900 West Olympic Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 743-8800

http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Default.htm

JW Marriott Los Angeles  (map it!)

900 West Olympic Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 765-8600

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/laxjw-jw-marriott-hotel-los-angeles-at-la-live/

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