- Lloyd Brown
Crypto.com Arena – Los Angeles Lakers
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71
Crypto.com Arena 1111 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90015
Year Opened: 1999
Land O’ Lakers
The Staples Center is the center of the LA indoor sports universe, as it serves as the home of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA, the LA Kings of the NHL and the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. The arena opened in 1999 and has a seating capacity of 19,079 for basketball and 18,118 for hockey.
Note: The Staples Center name changed to Crypto.com Arena in Dec, 2021.
Food & Beverage 3
Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the country, and this is reflected in the Staples Center’s concessions offerings. Among the vendors in the arena are Blaze Pizza, BS Taqueria, Cooler by Budweiser, Dave’s Doghouse, EATS, Golden Road Brewhouse, Impact Sports Bar and Grill, Outtakes, Wetzel’s Pretzels and Smokehouse BBQ.
One word of warning… while the food selection is of excellent quality, you may develop indigestion when you see the prices. They are amongst the highest in the NBA…nearly $7 for a hot dog. You may want to eat somewhere less expensive before or after the game, utilizing the Staples Center for just snacks and beverages.
As you would expect in Hollywood and the home of TV shows, the Staples Center excels in production quality. The sound system and lighting quality in the arena far exceeds what you will would find at other arenas. One of the reasons for this are the vast number of concerts held at the arena, featuring the top artists in the world, many of whom are local residents as well. They tend to be very demanding of the technical crews, and the Staples Center delivers. You’ll want to make sure to be in your seats prior to the National Anthem, as both the Lakers and the Clippers have very dramatic pregame introductions.
The Lakers are definitely the aristocracy as far as indoor sports in Los Angeles. There are statues in the plaza of Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and even longtime announcer Chick Hearn. Kobe Bryant’s is sure to come soon. Once inside the arena, the sixteen banners for the championships the Lakers have won fill an entire well, while another wall carries all the retired numbers of the Laker immortals.
The Staples Center is located in the LA Live sports and entertainment district. LA Live has more than 20 restaurants, including Shaquille’s, Yard House and several of Wolfgang Puck’s brand of restaurants. Also included in the complex are a variety of night clubs, the GRAMMY Museum and even a bowling alley. There are several hotel brands represented in the area, which can save you the hassle of being in traffic trying to get to the arena.
The fan base of the Lakers is very much like the fan base of the New York Knicks. The two teams are very popular with the celebrity set, who sit court side at many games. They range from TV/movie stars to stars from other sports and even national politicians. This adds a bit of fun for those who like to stargaze from some of the more economical seats. Lakers fans are more refined in their cheering for the team, as they expect a lot from the team, considering their past success.
The team is currently transitioning from the Kobe Bryant teams of the past to the Lebron James years of the future. It has been a tough season for the team and the fans as it fell short of the playoffs for one of the few times in recent history. The two teams that will really raise the noise level at the Staples Center are the hated Boston Celtics and the team’s neighbor at the Staples Center, the LA Clippers.
Anyone who has ever driven in the Los Angeles area can tell you that LA stands for “lotta autos.” There is a vast network of interstates in the greater metropolitan area, but the two to keep in mind for the Staples Center are I-110 and I-10, as the arena is located just north of the 110/10 interchange. It is always important to leave yourself plenty of time to make it through traffic to a game. We suggest you download the Staples Center app, as it includes the WAZE app, which provides up to the minute information on accidents, road construction and alternate routes that may get you to the arena faster.
Once you have reached the Staples Center, parking can become an issue. The Center owns 3,300 spaces, but there are more than 16,000 spaces within a 10-minute walk of the arena. If you plan to park in a Staples Center owned lot, you should pre-purchase your parking pass at AXS. Staple Center lots charge $30, but privately-owned lots in the area can be much cheaper.
The Los Angeles Metro public transportation system can provide a less time consuming and less stressful method of reaching the Staples Center. The Metro Rail Pico Station will drop you off at the doorstep of the arena. We suggest you purchase a one-day pass for $7, which gives you unlimited rides within a 24-hour period of purchase and will allow you to visit the many other interesting sites in the Los Angeles area. Go to www.metro.net for detailed information on navigating the Metro system.
The Staples Center itself provides excellent access to each of its seating levels. There are four main entry points for the general public, with many more set aside for season ticket holders and VIP’s. The concession stands are plentiful and typically the same stands have a location on each level of the seating bowl. The Staples Center has more than 60 restrooms.
One word of warning if you are seated in the 300 level of the arena. Like many sports facilities, the Lakers utilize “stage lighting” to spotlight the action on the court. As a result, there is poor lighting in the upper level. This makes it difficult to identify the row you are sitting on or in finding your specific seat. The dim lighting also adds to the difficulty in ascending or descending the steeply inclined steps in this section
Return on Investment 3
Like most major metropolitan areas, such as New York and Chicago, the cost of doing business is much higher. In addition, it is a very competitive market for both the tourists and local’s entertainment dollar. It is therefore not surprising that Los Angeles ranks only behind the Big Apple on the Fan’s Cost Index.
Parking, concessions, tickets and traffic congestion can all add up in making a night out at a Lakers game an expensive proposition. However, this expense must be weighed against the high level of quality play the Lakers put out in most seasons. There will definitely be additional banners hung from the rafters of the Staple Center.
The Staples Center has hosted three NBA All Star games, two NHL All Star games, eighteen Grammy Awards shows, four WTA Tennis Tour Championships, two NCAA Men’s West Regional Finals and eleven X Games competitions.
The Los Angeles Lakers have won six NBA titles since moving to the Staples Center and sixteen NBA championships overall. The LA Clippers are still hunting for their first NBA title.
If you are planning to go to multiple sports events at the Staples Center and purchase a souvenir at each game, you may want to check out the Team LA Store before going into the arena. The store is the licensed seller for goods for all the teams and has stores all over the city, including LA Live. By buying your merchandise before you go into the game, you can avoid lugging your goods up to your seats. You can also avoid paying the extra fee charged for a shopping bag inside the arena, as the Staples Center has adopted several “green” initiatives.
Stargazing is another unique facet of attending a game at the Staples Center. It is not uncommon to see several of your favorite TV/movie stars sitting court side with their families
The Staples Center continues to serve as the premiere indoor sports facility in the Los Angeles area. Its mix of teams touch upon almost every demographic in a city known for being very diverse. Its location across the street from the LA Live music, restaurant and entertainment district makes it a very attractive place for a night on the town for your family and friends.