HoopsHype Staples Center rumors

October 22, 2012 Updates

What it does is create a cushion in which a team like the Lakers that is getting somewhere between $2 and $4 billion over 20 years from Time Warner doesn't feel any financial pressure to go deep into the luxury tax to retain players. Let's put the estimate of what Time Warner is paying L.A. at the low end, $2 billion. That's $100 million per year the Lakers are getting from Time Warner. If TW is paying the Lakers $4 billion over 20 years, that's $200 million a year the Lakers get from local TV. That's before they get their cut of the national TV deals, or sell a ticket, or lease a suite, or sell signage inside Staples Center. That means the Lakers have no problems with a team salary that exceeds $90 million, or goes up to $100 million, with the resultant luxury taxes. It's already paid for. That's the edge the Lakers have over teams whose local TV deals pay them, say, $10 million a year. NBA.com

October 19, 2012 Updates

You've been to every NBA arena and were at Brooklyn's preseason debut. Is the arena as cool/beautiful/swag as everyone says it is? KB: It's a cool place, in a cool place. Once you get past the oddly shaped and rust-covered exterior, the inside is truly spectacular. The highlights are the herring-bone floor and the way the lights shine on the court and leave the crowd in relative darkness -- a la Staples Center. Everything is shiny and new and smartly done. The deciding factor as far as how good an arena this is will be the crowd. The bar has been set pretty high six miles away at Madison Square Garden, which buzzes like no other place in the league when the Knicks are good and engaging a marquee opponent. Selfishly speaking, early indications are that the wifi signal made available to the media works and is super-fast. Based on how shaky/nonexistent wifi is in the majority of NBA arenas, this is the best thing about it, in my opinion. CBSSports.com

October 4, 2012 Updates

One night after being immortalized with a statue outside Staples Center, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be made fun of in a hotel ballroom. Voluntarily, of course. Hosted by comedian George Lopez, the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Celebrity Roast will take place Nov. 17 at a downtown Los Angeles hotel, featuring appearances by many of Abdul-Jabbar's former teammates with the Showtime Lakers, including Magic Johnson. The event also marks the beginning of the "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Experience," a multi-city tour featuring memorabilia from throughout his life and career. ESPN.com

September 19, 2012 Updates

AEG had barely put itself up for sale Tuesday evening when speculation began to mount that Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong may be in the running to buy all or part of the entertainment giant, according to a person familiar with the situation unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter. The Anschutz Co., run by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, said it is seeking a buyer for its AEG subsidiary, which has stakes in the L.A. Live entertainment venue in downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Kings professional hockey team and the Los Angeles Galaxy pro soccer team. Los Angeles Times

The person told The Times that Soon-Shiong has already met with Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. Soon-Shiong, who made a failed bid for the L.A. Dodgers this year, already owns a minority stake in the Los Angeles Lakers. Los Angeles Times

The company that owns the Staples Center and the Los Angeles Kings announced late Tuesday it is being put up for sale, sparking a potential billion-dollar bidding war for some of the sports and entertainment world's glitziest properties. The Anschutz Co., run by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, said it is seeking a buyer for its AEG subsidiary, which also has stakes in the L.A. Live entertainment venue in downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Kings professional hockey team and the Los Angeles Galaxy pro soccer team. Los Angeles Times

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was not so shocked, saying he had long known about the possible sale even as he publicly pushed for the building of the stadium. He insisted it would not derail the city as it pulls closer to the return of the NFL since the 1994 departure of the Rams and Raiders. Villaraigosa said both Denver billionaire Phillip Anschutz and AEG President Tim Leiweke have assured him the city's football future will remain the same. "I have worked with both Phil Anschutz and Tim Leiweke for years to bring a football team to Los Angeles. I speak to both of them on a regular basis, and I have known about this potential sale for some time," the mayor said in a statement Tuesday. "I have the commitment from both of them that this won't affect plans for an NFL team to return to Los Angeles in the near future and so will not affect my support for moving ahead with Farmers Field." MSNBC.com

May 20, 2012 Updates

The unusual number of on-court slips and spills by both the Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder during Saturday’s Game 4 was not because of the ice rink beneath the court, according to Staples Center officials. The ice has been there since September and there have not been any previous complaints about slipping. Several Oklahoma City players complained of slippery conditions after point guard Russell Westbrook slipped near the sideline at the end of the first half. He was not injured and returned to play the second half. Michael Roth, spokesman for Staples Center, said the referees deemed the court safe. “The referees didn’t have any complaints with the court,” Roth said. “And everything was done as usual in these circumstances.” Orange County Register

September 28, 2011 Updates

The nation's 29 NBA arenas and their workers are bracing for a loss of revenue and wages totaling tens of millions of dollars if the labor dispute between NBA owners and players leads to most or all of the 2011-12 season being canceled. The situation is particularly acute at Staples Center in Los Angeles, because it's home to two NBA teams, the Lakers and Clippers. While the other NBA arenas each host 41 regular-season home games a year, Staples Center has 82. "It's going to devastate these workers," said Mike Garcia, president of the SEIU-United Service Workers West union, with nearly 1,000 members working at the three NBA arenas in California: Staples Center, Oracle Arena in Oakland and Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento. "They have become very dependent on these jobs," he said. The workers include janitors, ushers and ticket-takers who earn about $11 an hour on average. Los Angeles Times

The 18,997-seat Staples Center is owned and managed by billionaire Philip Anschutz's Anschutz Entertainment Group, and Anschutz owns 30% of the Lakers. NBA owners are prohibited from speaking publicly about the labor dispute while the contract talks continue. AEG spokesman Michael Roth had no comment. During the prolonged 1998-99 labor dispute, the NBA canceled chunks of the season every few weeks until a new contract was reached and a shortened regular season began in February 1999. If the NBA cancels games this fall in dribs and drabs it will create a financial headache for many arenas. Only a limited number of entertainers, such as Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and U2, can sell out NBA-sized arenas, and those shows are booked months in advance and can't be signed by arenas on short notice. Los Angeles Times

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