Let’s set the scene: You’re sitting in an arena balcony with a group of friends, overpriced canned wine in hand, ready to see your favorite pop star. The lights dim, they hit the stage, they kill the first song. Then, you hear it: “Crypto.com Arena, make some noise!” Horrific. But that’ll be the reality in Los Angeles as of December 25, when the Staples Center becomes Crypto.com Arena in a new 20-year naming deal. The Los Angeles Times reported that event-promotion company AEG made a deal with the Singapore-based cryptocurrency website, with the new name reportedly costing over $700 million. By June 2022, per the paper, the iconic Staples signage will be replaced with Crypto.com branding. Crypto.com’s CEO, Kris Marszalek, called the deal “such a brilliant move from the guys at AEG,” and not just because they said yes to $700 million–plus. He also confidently dubbed the renaming “the moment when crypto crossed the chasm into the mainstream.” Okay!
More than being a major music venue in Los Angeles, the future Crypto.com Arena is known as the home venue for the L.A. Lakers and Clippers basketball teams and the L.A. Kings hockey team, all of whom will have to endure that name much longer than any musician playing two nights at Crypto.com Arena. Still, we say, think of the musicians! (Except, of course, the crypto-rappers and NFT enthusiasts who are likely now clamoring for gigs at the arena.) The first poor artists who’ll have the chance to address a Crypto.com Arena crowd will be those playing Calibash January 14–16, 2022, including Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, Rauw Alejandro, Kali Uchis, and the Black Eyed Peas. Then, just days later on January 31, the Grammy Awards will return to the venue, and we just might get to hear “Crypto.com Arena” on live television. What exciting times we live in!