Nine-figure Arena renovation in Los Angeles will bring new spaces, fan experience improvements across the board

The new city view terrace will take advantage of LA Arena’s downtown location.Courtesy of AEG / Arena

Architect duo Dan Meis and Ron Turner designed Arena in the late 1990s and, 23 years after the Los Angeles marquee opened, the duo are leading the design of its largest renovation to date.

The three-phase project kicked off this summer and will reimagine nearly every aspect of the AEG-owned arena, entrance, and surrounding Xbox Plaza. The biggest challenge so far for Turner and Meis? Remember not to call the venue by its original name, “Staples Center.”

“It’s pretty easy now,” Turner said with a smile. “For a few weeks, maybe even a month, it was hard to get used to.” purchased the naming rights in November 2021, initiating a period of immense change over the next few years that will see the home of the Lakers, Kings, Sparks and, for now, Clippers significantly revamped. The Clippers, who have called Arena home since it opened, will depart in 2024 for their new multi-billion dollar facility in Inglewood, the Intuit Dome. The new arena will increase competition in an already competitive market. But the impetus for the renovation was to change fan habits and the need for a refresh. Arena Renovation Plans

AEG’s nine-figure renovation of Arena will take place over the next three years; the first phase will be completed in time for the upcoming 2022-23 NBA and NHL seasons.

Stage 1

Revamped Chairman’s Club for guests in the field; new family room for player families; Gutted and redesigned Impact Sports Bar & Grill, exclusive to season ticket holders; new LED boards (22 feet high by 65 feet wide), as well as three new tape boards; completely renovated the three halls at the level of the suites; new VIP entrance; two new take-out markets and two new concession stands in the main hall; campus-wide security upgrade; new event lighting system; begin work to replace the arena roof; implement’s final new signage.

Phase 2

The main hall will be refreshed; roof replacement completed; new lighting, ceilings, toilets for clubs; the top half of the two-level tunnel club is complete; expand Xbox Plaza (working with the city to allow the permanent closure of Chick Hearn Court).

Phase 3

Completion of the lower half of the club tunnel, which reclaims the space vacated by the Clippers’ departure; new suites in the main hall; total overhaul of home team changing rooms, visiting team changing rooms, weight facilities and performers changing rooms; the entire level of the event will be redone; Suite Level A – comprising the San Manuel Club, Lexus Club and Clippers Club – will be completely renovated in a more adaptable and flexible configuration; the entire upper hall redone; City View Terrace will be upgraded and upgraded. —BM
Source: AEG

“It’s a bit of everything, top to bottom, upside down,” said AEG CEO Dan Beckerman.

The privately-funded project will cost AEG nine figures, although the company does not share a specific price, in part because not all project parameters are concretely defined. The first phase will be completed in about two months, with subsequent phases taking place primarily during the 2023 and 2024 NBA and NHL offseasons. The building, one of the busiest in the world, will not close at any time during the project and its capacity will not change significantly.

“Once Phase 1 is complete, we can look at the venue: Is there anything we come back to the Lakers and Kings with from a fan journey, from a fan experience perspective that makes the place more accessible, faster to enter, faster to leave? said Lee Zeidman, president of Arena, Microsoft Theater and LA Live. “We’re not afraid to change things on the fly.”

AEG and the Lakers began discussing the project as far back as 2018, when they began negotiations on the Lakers’ 20-year lease extension that was finalized last year. Renovation was to begin in 2020; the work began as soon as the Kings were eliminated from the NHL playoffs in mid-May.

Meis, whose Meis studio now operates under the Perkins Eastman banner, and Turner, who runs Gensler’s sports practice, split the project almost 50-50. Staples Center’s original contractor, PCL Construction, is again leading the construction effort. AEG Real Estate Development worked with the project team on design and coordination.

One of the overall goals of the renovation is to create more communal gathering spaces, whether for premium or general admission fans.

“The idea of ​​making club lobbies and levels more of a chill out area, you don’t want to be locked in your box, and you want to go out before and after the game and at half time and see who else is in the game,” Meis said.

The Tunnel Club, which will eventually be on two levels between the Lakers and Kings locker rooms, will be completed once the Clippers exit.Courtesy of AEG / Arena Arena’s premium spaces will receive special attention, including an increase in the variety of premium products. Two new offers will see the light of day, including a quartet of suites accessible from the main hall. The arena will add eight new suites for a total of 178.

The Chairman’s Club, often used by celebrity guests in the arena, has doubled in size and will be ready for the Lakers and Kings season openers later this year. By the end of the project in 2024, a two-story tunnel club, the ground floor of which will fill vacant Clippers locker rooms, bring fans closer to players and coaches as they enter and exit Lakers locker rooms and of the Kings to go out on the field or on the ice. The upper half will be built in 2023, with the lower half coming the following year.

All three clubs – the San Manuel Club, Lexus Club and Clippers Club – will be renovated, with the option to transform the space into one, two or three clubs serving as a key aspect of the new layout.

Beckerman said increasing unique experiences for all fans of the building — not just high-budget guests — was a major intention. Emblematic of this idea, the City View Terrace, located outside the upper lobby, will be transformed into a rooftop bar that opens onto the bowl and creates a hybrid indoor-outdoor experience.

“When you’re standing on that bridge and looking at the Los Angeles skyline, it’s just magical,” Meis said. “There are very few arenas that are plugged into a city, an iconic city. That upper deck club will be the biggest difference maker.

The arena hosts its annual Grammy party on the City View Terrace, but LA Live didn’t exist when the arena was first built, and downtown Los Angeles has grown tremendously over the past two years. last decades.

“I think we’re finally going to reach the full potential of what the focal point of City View Terrace can be,” Beckerman said.

The new Main Lobby Suites will give the renovated arena a unique feature that suits the team’s celebrity audience.Courtesy of AEG / Arena

Apparently every corner of the arena and the wider development will be affected by the renovation.

Lobby areas will be redone, new LED screens added, campus-wide security improved, two take-out markets rolled out, home team and visiting team locker rooms replaced, roof replaced and more mundane details updated. day, like new lights, floors, ceilings – foundations that will collectively modernize the 23-year-old building. Outside, Xbox Plaza – the area between Microsoft Theater and the arena – will be expanded, with Chick Hearn Court, the road that divides LA Live’s development, permanently blocked and filled.

And the visual transformation of Arena signage will be completed before the start of the next NBA and NHL seasons.

When asked if AEG was just considering building a new arena, Zeidman laughed. “No,” he said.

The venue, which hosts around 240 events and 4 million people a year, remains in a prime location and its skeletal system is in good condition. AEG’s annual investment over the past two decades will ultimately save money on this renovation.

“We love our history and are proud of it and we all have fantastic memories of the first 20 years,” Beckerman said. “But it was about looking to the future and reinventing the fan experience. It was really our North Star.

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