The Staples Center - our experience here evokes some of our best.. and worst stories, as we shall explain.
This facility was built at a cost of over $400 million, and no expense was spared into making this arena a
place with zest and pizzazz, a typical showcase for the world's entertainment capital. The arena is built in the
downtown core, and with it comes hope for a rebirth of the area by designating a 30 acre "entertainment
zone", anchored by the Staples Center and the adjacent convention center.
We arrived via the light rail line, which deposited us about a block away, and we found surface lots around
the arena in abundance. Some of the adjoining neighborhood looked pretty seedy, but the potential is there,
and once you arrive at the building itself, you are overwhelmed at its sheer size and imposing architecture.
Step inside, and you are immersed in a sweeping lobby with glass rising to the ceiling and gigantic video
boards, sculptures, plants and glass lined escalators to take you upstairs.
Bright, roomy, and high tech advertising boards, impressively designed kiosks, concession stands and
vending carts everywhere. The Team LA merchandise store and the FOX sports cafe are off the main
concourse. The upper concourses have outdoor balconies, where fans can step up to an outdoor bar, order
a drink and enjoy the warm California weather.
Pretty big and imposing, the levels are broken down into 100 level, 200 level with Premier Seating, THREE
levels of suites, and then the 300 level way way up high. In the end zone above the 200 level is a restaurant
for Premier Seat holders with a view of the playing surface. An 8 sided scoreboard hangs in the center, and
among the many ad panels and message boards are three out of town scrolling scores - one for NHL, one
for NBA, and the third for NCAA. Pretty cool!
Great selection at boxcar prices, but somebody has to pay for all this! Best of show here is the mexican stand
- with the fajitas and the nachos grande.
The Los Angeles Lakers have had the greatest success here, with their six NBA championships. Their
retired numbers include the names Chamberlain, Jabbar, West, Baylor, Johnson, Goodrich and Worthy. The
Kings have hung the names of Rogie Vachon and Marcel Dionne. The Clippers???? movin on..
Now the bad news..
We walk in the building for the Lakers game, and start snapping photos. Immediately we are confronted by a
security guard (skinny kid, about 19 years old, 120 lbs impeccably dressed) who insists that we turn over our
camera. When we balked, he "escorted" us to guest relations, leading Andrew by the arm until Andrew told
him that he was perfectly able bodied and did not require assistance. We were forced to surrender the
camera, even though we identified ourselves as visitors, told them about our project and pleaded with them
to take even one inside photo. Nothing doing.
It doesn't end there... ushers, vendors, security people and concession workers all had this mean and surly
attitude about them. Maybe it's a SOCAL thing, but we were treated very shabbily. And no, there is no inside
photo on this profile, because we had no camera.
Amazing building, lots to see and do, and we are hoping that our Clippers experience in 2001 will make up
for the rough time we had with the Lakers and the Kings. We will sneak in the camera, and post an update,
hopefully with a lot of cool pics!
Food and team store 7
Scoreboard and electronics 8
Fan support 7
Location and neighborhood 7
Banners and history 6
In game entertainment 6
Concourses/fan comfort 6
Total points: 55.5
at Los Angeles