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Why are the Lakers playing at Crypto.com Arena?

The STAPLES Center has officially been renamed.

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Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers
Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up before the game against the Phoenix Suns on December 21, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Tyler Ross/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers will officially adopt their new arena sponsor, Crypto.com, Christmas Day when they face the Brooklyn Nets. The sponsorship deal between the cryptocurrency exchange and the team was already reported, but it becomes official December 25. This was a big shock to fans who have known the Lakers home arena as STAPLES Center, which has been the venue’s name since 1999.

The STAPLES Center opened in 1999 after the Lakers moved from The Forum, which was the team’s previous home. Crypto.com reportedly purchased the naming rights for the arena for $700 million, which is a lot of money in any circumstance. Throw in the financial pinch of a global pandemic and you can see why Anschutz Entertainment Group accepted the offer. The company owns the building and the surroudning LA Live complex. The Lakers, Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Clippers will now have a new sponsor for home games.

The deal also links the NBA to cryptocurrency, which has been growing as a financial space during the last decade. Cryptocurrency really took off during the COVID-19 pandemic and has become a hot investment vehicle for people as a result of its boom.