Nestled in the bustling downtown area of Los Angeles sits Crypto.com Arena. What was once known as STAPLES Center is the home of the LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Sparks. It’s hosted NBA Finals games, NBA and NHL All-Star games, Arena Football League games, the X-Games, WrestleMania, boxing, MMA, Grammy ceremonies and so much more. Now, it’s undergoing some changes.
As David Wharton of the Los Angeles Times points out, the original design of then-STAPLES Center will likely allow for renovations to flow more smoothly than some other arenas since the arena originally “had to be spacious enough to accommodate four teams and a full schedule of concerts.”
One of the changes that fans will notice before getting into the actual arena is that Chick Hearn Court, named in honor of Lakers’ legendary announcer Chick Hearn, will no longer be an actual street that cars drive on. Instead, the street will be replaced with a “tree-lined public plaza” that’ll allow fans to congregate in the area between the arena itself and the large L.A. Live plaza that is across the street.
Among other things that’ll be added to Crypto.com Arena is something called the “Tunnel Club.” It’s a bar area where fans can sit along a glass wall and watch as players walk by them. While not a new concept — in fact, Manchester City (soccer), LA Galaxy (soccer) and several other teams around the world have incorporated a similar experience into their respective arenas — it is a nice way to get some more fan interaction.
They’re also slated to build the “City View Terrace,” which will be in the upper deck and allow fans an unimpeded stroll from an outside view of downtown back into the arena with a balcony view of the action down below on the court or ice.
However, Clippers fans won’t get to experience the terrace section or Tunnel Club since those parts of the renovation are reportedly slated to begin the summer that the team moves into Intuit Dome in Inglewood. The redesigned outside public plaza will be coming before the beginning of the 2023-24 season, so Clippers fans will get to enjoy that for one year.
All in all, this project is set to take a few years. But you will see a noticeable change this season in a few interesting areas.
For instance, the arena is putting up “two 65-foot video boards at the south end of the building,” as well as new lighting and updated concession menus. Those will be coming this season.
With the Clippers set to move into Intuit Dome beginning in the 2024-25 season, they only have a couple years left in downtown L.A. before making the trek down to Inglewood. Still, it is nice to see their current arena, which was looking outdated in several places, get upgraded even if they won’t receive the full benefit of the final renovations.