The Lakers and the Clippers are 2 famous teams from Los Angels in the NBA. The rivalry between these two has reached a peak in recent years and they have been the main contenders for the championship title. In addition, these two teams share an arena, called Staples Center.
How do the Lakers and Clippers share an arena? The schedule of the NBA is planned in a way that the Lakers and the Clippers do not have matches on the same day. Thus it is easier to share an arena. At the same time, the Clippers do not have an arena on their own.
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It has been more than 20 years since the Clippers and the Lakers started sharing an arena. We will explore more details on how it is arranged and what are the future possibilities for a new arena.
Brief Review of Staples Center
A multifunctional sports complex called Staples Center was created in 1999, in Los Angeles, California. It is here that the largest number of competitions and other sports events in the city take place.
The arena opened on October 17, 1999, with a budget of $375 million. Every year, at least 250 events are held in this place, with approximately 4 million people becoming their audience. During its existence, many significant events took place at the Staples Center, including a memorial service in memory of Michael Jackson.
The Staples Center covers 88,258 square meters of floor space. The size of the arena is 28.7 meters by 61 meters. Outside, the semicircular, modern-style building serves as the home arena for many teams: the Los Angeles Sparks, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Kings and others.
The maximum capacity of the Lakers & Clippers home Arena is interesting. Despite playing the same sport in the same arena, their maximum capacity actually differs. The Clippers have a maximum 19,068 seats and the Lakers just 18,997 – 71 less. This is because of the floor layout that the franchises each choose to have. Yep you guessed it, the Lakers have more premium floor seats to host all the celebrity fans they have, reducing their overall capacity.
The Lakers Do Not Own Staples Center
Staples Center is not a private property of the Lakers, thus it is easier to share with the Clippers. The latter does not have a court on their own and hence they can play in this arena without problems. As Staples Center holds many events, the Clippers are also free to compete there.
The Matter of Location
Los Angeles is an expensive location in the United States. There are no doubts about that. As building a new arena would cost a lot of money, the simpler is to share an arena where both the Lakers and the Clippers will be able to play. As we have already mentioned above, the NBA is scheduled in a way that their home matches do not coincide with each other and when they are playing against each other, none of them have a home-court advantage.
Staples Center Generates a lot of Revenue
Another important reason for sharing an arena is money and revenue. Holding matches at Staples Center is economically more feasible and beneficial for Los Angeles. From a financial perspective, this is necessary to consider. Checkout how the stadium is converted from Lakers and Clippers.
Plans For the New Arena
The Clippers do not have the same popularity in Los Angeles as the Lakers, primarily because of its history and a massive fan base. But now they are starting to gain momentum and are slowly becoming one of the most exciting teams in the Western Conference. They are seen less and less as a second-rate team and more and more as the main show in Los Angeles. It makes sense for them to step out of the Lakers’ shadow and play in their own arena. By doing this, they will gain more exposure to themselves as a brand, and will not be the Lakers’ eternal shadow. They have 3 options:
1. Build a new arena in Los Angeles;
2. Move to the Honda Center in Anaheim and share the arena with the Anaheim Ducks hockey team;
3. Go back to San Diego and build an arena there.
The first option is very attractive, as the new arena will give them full control over the fans and they will completely separate from the Lakers. They can become a full-fledged alternative to the Lakers. They will continue to be a Los Angeles squad and will be completely separated from the Lakers.
The Clippers have never felt at home at the Staples Center and have never been a Los Angeles team. And the new arena will allow them to finally become a full-fledged Los Angeles team. The disadvantages of this option are the high cost, and the fact that they will still be a team of the City of Angels and the Lakers will overshadow them a little with their presence in the city.
The second option is very similar, only the Clippers will move to the Honda Center. They won’t share Staples Center with the Lakers, and they won’t have to spend a lot of money on the arena. From the point of view of economic efficiency, this option is the most suitable, since the arena has already been built. The disadvantage of this option is the division of the arena with the hockey team.
The third option is very interesting since the Clippers are originally from San Diego. In San Diego, the Clippers will truly have their own identity, not overshadowed by the Lakers as they will be more than 2 hours away in a completely different city with a completely different atmosphere. A return to San Diego for the Clippers would be exciting for NBA fans and the City of San Diego.
Overall, all three of these options are really good for the Clippers because they all involve getting a new arena. By doing this, they will be able to better market themselves and create their own distinct brand without the Lakers involved.