Crypto.com Arena to get key upgrades, renovations over next 2 years

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The updates to Crypto.com Arena will feature a new ‘Tunnel Club’ that allows fans to see players as they head onto the court.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ home arena will be getting significant changes over the next two years.

Crypto.com Arena officials announced Monday that it has plans to make a “nine-figure investment” in improving the stadium that has served as home to the Lakers, LA Clippers, WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and NHL’s Los Angeles Kings since it opened in 1999.

The renovations will include things such as new LED screens and ribbon boards, upgrades to the concourse levels and improvements to in-arena dining as well as a “refresh” of the locker rooms for the Lakers, Kings and Sparks.

Perhaps the most notable changes are the plans to connect the LA Live area to Crypto.com Arena with an outdoor gathering space. By the Los Angeles Times’ David Whartondoing so would mean eliminating the street between the arena and LA Live to create a tree-lined public plaza as well as a glass-walled club — known as the “Tunnel Club” — in the arena so patrons can watch players file out of the locker room.

“For the past two decades, the Lakers and AEG have shared a vision of providing a premier experience to every guest who enters Crypto.com Arena and LA LIVE’s Xbox Plaza,” Lakers president of business operations Tim Harris said in a statement Monday. “Competing nightly in front of the most passionate fans in the NBA inside one of the most iconic venues in the world is something our organization is incredibly proud of. This investment into expansive improvements and upgrades cements Los Angeles’ downtown arena as the pinnacle of entertainment for decades to come.”

The various projects are expected to be finished by the fall of 2024, arena officials said, with several of the improvements being ready for the 2022-23 NBA and NHL seasons.

The downtown Los Angeles home of the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers, the NHL’s Kings and the WNBA’s Sparks changed its name last year after 22 years of operation as Staples Center. The 20,000-seat arena has been the Staples Center since it opened in October 1999, with the naming rights owned by the American office-supplies retail company under a 20-year agreement.

Along with its sports tenants, the arena has hosted 19 Grammy Awards ceremonies, three NBA All-Star Games, two NHL All-Star Games and countless high-profile concerts, performances and important public events, including memorials for Michael Jackson, Nipsey Hussle and Kobe Bryant.

The Lakers have won six NBA championships during their tenure in the cavernous arena, including three straight in its first three years of operation. Banners commemorating the Lakers’ 17 NBA titles hang high on the walls above the playing floor, providing what might be the most distinctive interior feature of the building.

The Sparks have won three WNBA titles while at the Staples Center, and the Kings won their first two Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014 there, clinching both on home ice.

The Clippers will be short-timers at Crypto.com Arena. They’re scheduled to open owner Steve Ballmer’s $1 billion, 18,000-seat Intuit Dome in Inglewood in 2024 when their Staples Center lease expires. Construction on that arena is progressing well as of this summer.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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