Staples Center, one of the best-known US arenas for sports and entertainment, will be getting a new name as of Christmas Day – and people aren’t happy about it.

After 22 years, the Los Angeles home of NBA’s Lakers and Clippers, the NHL’s Kings and the WNBA’s Sparks will officially be renamed Crypto.com Arena.

Reports from PA say the company is paying a staggering $700 million over 20 years to rename the 20,000-seat arena. It is believed to be the richest naming rights deal in sports history.

The arena opened its doors in October 1999 with 20-year naming rights with American office-supplies retail company Staples. When the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA’s annual Christmas showcase, the arena will change over to the new rebrand. Signage is expected to change by June 2022.

Crypto.com took to their official Twitter account to announce their partnership.

“We’re extremely proud to announce that Staples Center, Los Angeles’ most iconic arena, is getting a new name: Crypto.com Arena,” they said.

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Founded in 2016, the Singapore-based company is a cryptocurrency platform and exchange. As of last year, they have stepped into sporting sponsorship deals, which include: Formula One, the UFC, Italy’s Serie A, Paris St-Germain and the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. They also purchased the Philadelphia 76ers’ uniform sponsorship patch.

Kris Marszalek, Crypto.com chief executive, said: “There may be some initial resistance to the idea of [the name] change, I think that’s quite natural.

“But we are ready to work with the local community and prove to them that this is a change for the better and help build a better future for LA and the fans.”

Naturally, people turned to Twitter upon hearing the announcement – and it’s clearly going to need more than a name change to stop them calling it the Staples Center.

“Imagine paying $700+ million for naming rights to an arena that will always be called Staples Center,” one joked. Another called it “the end of an era.”

Others paid homage to the late Kobe Bryant, who played at the Staples Center throughout his career. The arena was also place of pilgrimage for those devastated by his death. His wife, Vanessa Bryant, turned to Instagram and said: “Forever known as the house that Kobe built.”

Let’s see how this pans out...

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