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Staples Center

Los Angeles, CA

Home of the Los Angeles Clippers

4.1

4.3

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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Downtown Los Angeles Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA (National Basketball Association) began their days as the Buffalo Braves (Buffalo, NY) as part of the 1970 expansion draft. They moved to San Diego in 1978 and became the San Diego Clippers - the name is derived from the prestigious sailing ships that passed through San Diego Bay. When they moved to Los Angeles in 1984, the team kept the Clippers' name.

From 1984 – 1999 the Clippers played in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. As part of the LA Live downtown entertainment district, the Staples Center opened in 1999 and the Clippers relocated to that venue.

The Staples Center hosts four professional sports teams: LA Clippers (NBA), LA Lakers (NBA), LA Kings (NHL), and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA). The arena does a fabulous job at distinguishing each teams’ characteristics and fervor.

Clippers Nation is still awaiting its first Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy, and recent consecutive playoff appearances have raised the expectations of the fans.

4.1

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    4

The cuisine and drink choices at the Staples Center surpass many other major league sports arenas. Keep in mind, the prices also exceed most of the other venues as well.

Concession lines move quickly and only build up during halftime. More choices are available in the main concourse but the upper concourse still has plenty of fare on offer.

The main concourse offers Blake Pizza, B.S. Taqueria (Mexican), Dave's Doghouse, a deli, Ludo Bird (chicken), Outtakes (salads, gluten free items, sandwiches, sushi), Tap House (beer and bratwurst), several bars as well as a McDonald's, Wetzel Pretzels and a variety of other food and beverage choices.

The upstairs concourse has Smokehouse BBQ, Wetzel's Pretzels, additional bars, a McDonald's, Eats and All In. Near the Smokehouse an outdoor patio can be visited; it has a bar and a great view of LA Live (the downtown entertainment district in Los Angeles). I'd recommend visiting this patio as it captures all the activities happening in LA Live that game day/evening.

Several lounges and bars are available for a visiting fan. These include the DraftKings Fantasy Sports Bar & Lounge and the Black Crown Lounge. At the DraftKings Fantasy Bar, a Stone IPA is $12.25 and other sports bar food is available (nachos w/guacamole, garlics knots, sliders, dogs). Both places have plenty of TV screens to watch the game./p>

Coca-Cola is the soda provider at the Staples Center with a regular size starting at $6. A good variety of beers are found (the Tap House has a decent selection), and range from $8.50 - $12.25. Most food options will run from $7.50 - $15.

A remarkable variety of choices are available but expect to spend some sizable amounts of cash (or credit) for food at the Staples Center.

Atmosphere    4

The Staples Center is a very entertaining place to see a Clippers game.

Three levels of seating are available: the main concourse (lower level), the upper concourse, and the club level. Seats are cushioned, have cup holders, and average legroom. For those with a fear of heights, getting a seat in the upper level lower than row five or six or in the main concourse would be best. It gets pretty high in the third level.

Assisted Listening Devices (ALD) as well as real time captioning is available on a browser based mobile iPhone or Droid. A limited number of Droid phones are available at guest services. Accessible/disabled seating is available on all levels of Staples Center. Pre-purchasing designated parking when ordering accessible/disabled tickets is recommended.

Current players' pictures are illuminated on the wall behind one of the baskets. The court sports the red and blue of the Clippers logo. It is comfortably warm inside the venue so no need for extra layers.

As part of the game introduction, an amazing laser light show is offered with different colored laser lights shooting across a darkened arena. At the game of this review, LED bracelets were given away and those enhanced the light show by sparkling throughout the seating area during the introduction. I'd recommend being in your seats before tipoff to enjoy this pregame entertainment.

A sign-making table on the concourse is offered for kids and adults alike. Signs are shown on the video scoreboard during breaks in the game. The LA Clippers Foundation auctions autographed basketballs and other Clippers memorabilia to assist with their support of community outreach programs and activities.

An eight-sided circular scoreboard above center court shows crystal clear replays, as well as points and fouls of players on the court, the score, and time left.

Neighborhood    5

The Staples Center is a part of an emerging LA Live entertainment district in downtown Los Angeles. LA Live is bustling with energy and fans. It is continuing to grow as a new parking garage, retail area, and apartment complex are being constructed on east side of the Staples Center.

A block or two around the Staples Center before and after games is safe. As with any major metropolis city, just be aware of your surroundings. Individuals asking for money may be encountered. Stay within the LA Live entertainment district and you'll be fine.

A plethora of restaurants are within a block or two of the Staples Center. Recommended choices include Yard House (sports bar - lots of craft beer choices), Toms Urban (weekend brunch is served), or Original Pantry Café. Almost 20 places to eat/drink are in and around the LA Live district; plenty from which to choose to dine.

Other activities near the Staples Center are the Grammy Museum, Regal LA Live movie theater, Lucky Strikes bowling alley, Microsoft Theater - home to the EMMY's, ESPY's, American Music Awards and American Idol Finals.

At the game of this review, Microsoft Square (just across from the Staples Center) was all lit up with Christmas decorations and trees and had ice skating available for fans.

Depending on other teams' schedules, a fan may be able to see the Clippers, Lakers (NBA), and Kings (NHL) in one weekend at the Staples Center.

Within the LA Live district are the Ritz Carlton ($2500/night), JW Marriott ($259/night), Courtyard Los Angeles LA Live ($215/night) and Residence Inn Los Angeles LA Live ($239/night) hotels. A few blocks away (less than .5 miles) is The Milner Hotel ($169/night). I stayed there and it was just okay but way more affordable than the others.

Fans    4

Clippers fans have a great reputation and show up in full force sporting their team's shirts and gear. For the last several seasons attendance records at home have been above 100% capacity, ranking them even higher for home games than their fellow NBA tenant, the Lakers.

They are a late arriving crowd (maybe it's the LA traffic?) and a fair number of fans spend time on the concourse while the match is being played. Even so, the crowd in the arena is a boisterous, supportive bunch.

Be on the lookout for superfan "Clipper Darrell." He is the unofficial ambassador of the Clippers and Clippers Nation and 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. Be sure to check out his site to read some of the press on him.

Access    4

Getting to the Staples Center is easy if using public transportation. The Pico Station is just one block from the venue; the 7th St Station is a five minute walk. I'd recommend using the Pico Station. Visit the Metro Trip Planner site to avoid traffic and parking fees when visiting the Lakers.

The Staples Center is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, so it is relatively close to four of the major freeways, the 405, 110, 10, and 101. Unfortunately this is Los Angeles and at any hour of the day, these freeways could significantly backup, so leave plenty of time when traveling to the arena.

Plenty of parking garages are available surrounding the LA Live entertainment district. The Staples Center recommends parking in Lot W, Gate B off of Chick Hearn Ct. Rates vary from $10 - $30. Private lots may be available for as low as $9.

If visiting from out of town, LAX Airport is the closest. One can get a $9 one-way bus ride via LA FlyAway to Union Station and then take the purple or red line to Pico Station (and the Staples Center).

Getting into the arena is okay. One walks through a metal detector before getting a ticket scanned. Bags less than 14" x 14" x 6" are allowed and they do not have to be of the clear bag variety.

If planning on purchasing any merchandise, bring your own bag as LA has "gone green." If forgotten, it's 10 cents for a plastic bag; $2 for a reusable bag.

Return on Investment    4

Though not as expensive as their Lakers counterparts, tickets for a Clippers game still rank above the NBA league average. The prices have increased recently since the Clippers are playing a better game and have been making it to the playoffs.

That said, tickets for a weeknight game or a non-prime opponent can be found for $16 or $20 especially when looking at secondary markets. When they play the Lakers on a Sat afternoon, tickets range from $79 - >$2,000.

Taking the metro to the game reduces the expense of parking. Eating before or after the game also reduces costs.

All in all, attending a Clippers game is a very enjoyable experience and worth visiting for any sports fan.

Extras    4

If researched, a sports fan may be able to visit the Staples Center and see three of the four teams in one weekend; a stadium journeyer's delight.

Kudos to the staff who can transform a hockey rink to a basketball court in less than three hours.

A huge merchandise store 'Team LA' provides all kinds of merchandise and Clippers gear. Keep in mind, if you want to get Lakers, Kings, or Sparks items, they are not offered during a Clippers game.

Extra recognition to the LA Clippers Foundation who try to make a difference in the LA community and children's education and upbringing.

Final Thoughts

Though the Clippers have not yet won a national championship, the fans continue to be supportive and encourage their team on to future playoffs and conference finals. Now might be the time to make a visit to the Staples Center to see the Clippers in action.

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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.

Winning Over L.A.

Total Score: 4.43

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

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.

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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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