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Staples Center Timeline

Los Angeles city officials want the owners of the Los Angeles Kings to develop a $240 million, 20,000 seat sports and entertainment complex near the downtown Los Angeles Convention Center. The arena could also be used by the Los Angeles Lakers, which currently share the Great Western Forum in Inglewood with the Kings. Lakers owner Jerry Buss has said he would follow the Kings to a downtown facility, but he would prefer to have a new arena built in Inglewood, 15 miles southwest of downtown. August 9, 1996.

August 16, 1996 - Edward Roski, an owner of the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, has signed a formal proposal to build a $240 million sports arena near the downtown convention center if the city agrees to a financing plan. The arena would house the Kings and Lakers beginning in 1999-2000.

August 20, 1996 - Los Angeles officials have signed a letter endorsing a formal proposal by the owners of the Los Angeles Kings to build a $240 million sports arena by 1999. Edward Roski, an owner of the Kings, signed the formal proposal to build the arena near the downtown convention center on August 16, 1996 - provided the city agrees to a financing plan.

February 21, 1997 - Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Complex at Union Station NBBJ Sports and Entertainment recently performed a site study at historical Union Station, located in downtown Los Angeles, as a potential location for the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings' new arena. The Sports and Entertainment Complex features 20,000 seats, luxury suites, club level seats and a retail/entertainment component.

February 21, 1997 Associated Press - Los Angeles Kings officials unveiled their vision for a new 20,000 seat arena in downtown Los Angeles yesterday, a retail-entertainment complex that would house the hockey team and the NBA's Lakers.

The proposed arena would include 150 luxury boxes - a revenue-generating feature currently lacking at the 30-year-old Forum in Inglewood.

The announcement comes at a time when the Kings are struggling on and off the ice. They are 20-33-8 after last night's victory over Anaheim, and in danger of not making the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Attendance has plummeted since superstar Wayne Gretzky was traded a year ago. The Kings are drawing an announced average of 12,060, although many nights the building appears much emptier.

Sellouts were commonplace during Gretzky's eight years, but there have been just three capacity crowds in the 16,005-seat building this season.

The new arena, targeted to open in October 1999, would be adjacent to the Los Angeles Convention Center, with easy access off the Harbor and Santa Monica freeways that intersect nearby.

Despite showing off blowup color photos and an interactive video depicting the building, Kings officials cautioned that no deal has been struck.

October 1997, Amusement Business - A naming rights deal for the new downtown Los Angeles arena, reportely worth $100 million over 20 years, is in the works between the Los Angeles Kings National Hockey League team and Boston-based office-supply firm Staples.

John Cimperman, vice president of marketing for the Kings - whose owners Philip Anschutz and Ed Roski are developing the $300 million arena - told Amusement Business the political hurdles his bosses had to overcome in getting the Los Angeles City Council to approve the arena deal put the Staples negotiations on the backburner.

"Now that the political process is ending, we are back in conversations with Staples." Cimperman said.

He wouldn't say if any other firms were contenders for the arena's naming rights.

Negotiations now focus on what Staples would get for their money, said Cimperman, who would neither confirm nor deny the reported dollar amounts and duration of the proposed deal.

"In the next 30-60 days we should be able to make some more formal announcements," he said.

The Kings are pursuing a deal without help from an outside agency, he said.

"Because of this building's location, because of the number of events we're going to have and the stature of the events we're going to have, this will be a great deal for both parties," Cimperman said.

He said the Kings are looking for a naming rights sponsor that shares the Kings' vision.

"We're looking for a good long-term partner, someone who is going to help us reach our goal," Cimperman said.

March 31, 1998 - Official groundbreaking ceremonies took place last week for the Staples Center, L.A.'s new $300-million sports and entertainment facility that will be the new home of the Kings and the NBA's Lakers

LA Sports Arena
LA Sports Arena
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GW Forum
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Staples Center

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