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Home / F1 auto racing

Lakers plan big sendoff as ‘Staples Center’ name fades into history

After 22 years, the Lakers will play their last game at Staples Center Thursday night — two days before the venerable downtown venue officially becomes “Crypto.com Arena” on Christmas Day.

The Lakers host the San Antonio Spurs in the 7:30 p.m. game, and plan a number of sendoff festivities for their finale under the “Staples” banner.

They include:

— a special opening video to be played prior to tip-off;

— fans in attendance receiving a commemorative ticket, as well as a T- shirt that’s a replica of the first T-shirt given away at Staples in June 2000, when the Lakers won the NBA’s Western Conference;

— several Lakers legends appearing for a halftime celebration featuring past NBA championship trophies;

— a banner marking 22 years of Lakers history at Staples being featured along the top of arena’s City View Terrace.

The Lakers are scheduled to host the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas Day in the first game played at Crypto.com Arena, but that game is in danger of being postponed, as the Nets’ roster has been devastated by the coronavirus surge.

Brooklyn’s scheduled Thursday night game in Portland was postponed by the NBA on Wednesday, with the Nets not having the league-minimum of eight players available. It was the third straight Nets game that was postponed.

The Nets have signed several “hardship replacements,” and as of Wednesday the Christmas Day game was still a go.

The Lakers’ next scheduled home game after that is on New Year’s Eve against the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Clippers, who also call the arena home, are scheduled to host the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 26.

The NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, another tenant of the arena, are scheduled to host the Las Vegas Golden Knights at Crypto.com Arena on Dec. 28.

Crypto.com, which bills itself as the fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform, is beginning a 20-year naming rights agreement with AEG, the arena’s owner.

A new logo and other branding assets, including internal arena signage, will be introduced on Christmas Day if the game goes off as planned. All of the venue’s external signage will be replaced by June.

The agreement, announced Nov. 17, includes official designations across Crypto.com Arena, L.A. LIVE, Microsoft Theater, The Novo, the Lakers and the Kings.

The agreement also makes Crypto.com an official cryptocurrency platform partner of the Lakers and Kings.

Terms of the agreement were not announced, though the Los Angeles Times reported Crypto.com paid more than $700 million for the naming rights, according to sources familiar with the terms. That would make it one of the biggest naming deals in sports history.

Crypto.com claims to have more than 10 million customers. Its headquarters are in Singapore, and it employs more than 2,600 people in offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

The company was founded in 2016. It recently began a global campaign featuring actor Matt Damon to formally introduce the platform.

Crypto.com also has sponsorships with the UFC, the F1 auto racing circuit, Italian soccer’s Serie A, the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.

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