STAPLES Center is a multi-purpose arena in Downtown Los Angeles. The arena is home to the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Staples Center is also host to over 250 events and nearly 4 million guests each year. It is the only arena in the NBA shared by two teams, as well as one of only two North American professional sports venues to host two teams from the same league.
Construction of STAPLES Center broke ground on March 26, 1998, and the arena opened on October 17, 1999 with a concert by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. Since its opening, STAPLES Center has been the site of Lakers and Sparks championships, the Kings Stanley Cup, and thousands of memorable concerts and special events. As a result, STAPLES Center tickets are always a hot item in L.A. Here are some other memorable events.
L.A. Kings Win the Stanley Cup (June 11, 2012)
In 2012, the Los Angeles Kings won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, defeating the New Jersey Devils 6-1 and winning the series 4-2. The Kings became the first team to win the Stanley Cup on their home ice since 2007. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.
Michael Jackson’s Memorial Service (July 7, 2009)
Twelve days after his untimely death, a memorial service was held at STAPLES Center for legendary entertainer Michael Jackson. During the service, Jackson’s songs were performed by Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Jermaine Jackson, and Shaheen Jafargholi.
Through an online lottery, AEG gave away 17,500 free tickets to the service – over 1.2 million applications were received in 24 hours. The service was broadcast live around the world. In the U.S., public screenings were held in 37 cinemas, and Nielsen reported 31 million viewers watched the service live on TV. Some news sources reported more than 2.5 billion viewers worldwide, making the event the most-watched live TV broadcast in history.
Kobe Bryant Scores 81 Points (Jan. 22, 2006)
In 2006, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant scored a career-high 81 points in a victory against the Toronto Raptors. Bryant’s 81-point game is second only to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962. In that same month, Bryant also became the first player since 1964 to score 45 points or more in four consecutive games, joining Chamberlain and the Lakers’ Elgin Baylor as the only players ever to do so. By the end of the 2005–06 season, Bryant set Lakers single-season franchise records for most 40-point games (27) and most points scored (2,832). He won the league’s scoring title for the first time, averaging 35.4 points per game.
WrestleMania 21 (April 3, 2005)
WrestleMania 21 was the first one held at STAPLES Center. Tickets sold out in less than one minute, the fastest in WrestleMania history. Highlights included Batista defeating Triple H to win the World Heavyweight Championship, and John Cena pinning John “Bradshaw” Layfield for the WWE Championship.
Robert Horry’s Game Winning Shot (May 26, 2002)
Lakers power forward Robert Horry was known for coming through in the clutch, a reputation that was secured in the waning seconds of Game 4 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals against the Sacramento Kings. Trailing 2-1 in the series and facing Game 5 in Sacramento, the Lakers were down by as many as 24 points in the first half. The Lakers cut the lead to 99–97 with 11.8 seconds to play. On the final possession, Sacramento center Vlade Divac tried to run out the clock by knocking the ball away from the basket. The ball bounced to Horry, who hit a three-pointer over Chris Webber at the buzzer to win the game, 100–99. The Lakers prevailed against the Kings 4-3 in the series, and went on to three-peat as NBA champions, sweeping the New Jersey Nets in the NBA finals.
As you can see, the STAPLES Center has been home to many amazing events throughout its history, with many more sure to come. If you are in the Los Angeles area, you should contact the STAPLES Center box office to find tickets to an event you’re sure to enjoy and remember!