The downtown Los Angeles arena is heading into its 15th season and has spent nearly $7.5 Million to improve the fan experience and update its lighting system
STAPLES Center President Lee Zeidman announced that the arena went through some incredible upgrades over the summer and that they are excited to unveil them to STAPLES Center’s guests and tenants for the upcoming 2014-15 NHL and NBA seasons. AEG, the arena’s owner and operator, invested just over $7 million to offset a list of renovations that were completed or are currently underway. At the top of the list was a new LED sports lighting system, along with upgrading the retractable seating of the lower bowl and the relocation of the TEAM LA Store to a larger retail space.
The summer’s biggest and most consuming project for STAPLES Center was the installation of the new LED sports lighting system supplied by Solotech manufactured by Lidlum. AEG spent six-figures to install a new LED sports lighting system that will dramatically reduce energy costs compared with the standard metal halide lighting. STAPLES Center is the first NBA arena to feature LED lighting and is the first NHL arena in the United States to feature LED lighting (Montreal’s Bell Centre is the first North American arena to convert to LED sports lighting). The Los Angeles Lakers will continue to use their own current lighting system modeled after the NBA All-Star Game lighting grid. STAPLES Center is looking towards an energy cost savings of approximately $280,000 annually.
“We are thrilled to be on the forefront in our industry by converting the arena to LED lighting, it is the latest technology and the wave of the future and we wanted to get on board right away,” Lee Zeidman, President, STAPLES Center. “From an environmental and sustainability standpoint, this made sense for us and will save us significantly in the long run on energy costs.”
“The Clippers are committed to working together with STAPLES Center to provide our fans with an innovative and first-class experience,” Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer said. “It is exciting for everyone involved to have the Clippers play in the first NBA arena to utilize LED lighting.”
After years of doing business with AEG, back in October of 2013 Brian Konechny from Solotech started taking a look at what energy savings could really look like for arenas in Southern California. “Most people were just looking at the energy savings, but with the Lidlum products we found now you could have both savings and great light quality” said Konechny. “STAPLES Center being the industry leader in sports venue technology, we knew they would be interested,” he added.
Lidium’s CEO Jean-Louis Legault also noticed manufactures focused on power consumption and not CRI or color temperature, so he set out to design a better light fixture. “We are very happy that LA Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille was one of the first people to show interest in our sport lighting system back in 2012 and now STAPLES Center is first to receive the latest and upgraded Lidium LED sport lighting system version,” added Legault.
The next large upgrade project under way is the retractable seating that is a critical part of the arena’s operations, considering it is the only arena in North America that is home to two NBA teams, an NHL team and a WNBA team. STAPLES Center hosts more than 250 events annually and the arena on average converts the building over 200 times a year and has completed 149 doubleheader days, in which two games are played in one day, since opening its doors in October 1999. STAPLES Center strives to have all doubleheader conversions done within 90 minutes and the arena has always hit that mark, but the new retractable seating will make that process much more efficient and require less maintenance.
Working closely with AEG, the new customized retractable seating system is produced by StageRight and together a design system was created to meet the needs of the arena. The installation will take place over two seasons due to STAPLES Center’s busy event schedule. The first portion of the retractable seating will be installed at stage end on the arena’s north side, which is the end most affected by conversions and will be completed and in place by mid-November. The overall project will be completed mid-year 2015.
“StageRight is excited and extremely grateful for the opportunity to provide STAPLES Center with this innovative retractable seating system,” said Nathan Rogers, President, Rogers Group. “The conversions staff at STAPLES Center played an extensive role in the development of our dual rise system. Their invaluable insight on the operational parameters required with conversions of this magnitude was vital in assisting our team in the design of the next generation of retractable seating. We look forward to a successful installation and furthering our valued relationship with STAPLES Center.”
Other upgrades include the remodeling for the former American Express Platinum Lounge to The Centurion Suite by American Express at STAPLES Center. It is a VIP area for active American Express Platinum Card & Centurion Members complete with a full bar and exclusive menu options for purchase and a view of the arena for hockey and basketball games. Additional amenities also include phone charging, flat screen televisions, cocktail tables, bar height chairs & lounge seating. The Centurion Suite access is only eligible to Platinum Card & Centurion Members and a valid, American Express Platinum or Centurion Card and picture identification must be presented upon check-in.
The bar top in the San Manuel Club located on Suite Level A has been updated and extended to accommodate additional guests and fans to sit at the bar top or to walk and order. Additionally all suite levels walls have been repainted and all venue photography has been updated and new frames have been installed throughout the three suite levels.
On the Main Concourse fans will find a new concession stand outside Section 108 created and designed by our partners at Anheuser-Busch called Goose Island which will feature a variety of craft beers that will include Matilda, Sofie, Goose Island Honkers, Goose Island 312 Pale, Goose Island Urban Wheat, Goose Island IPA, Goose Island Rambler Red IPA (Seasonal). The food offerings will include a Chicago Style Hot Dog, all beef Vienna hot dog with tomatoes, nuclear relish, celery salt, sports peppers, onions, mustard, and a pickle spear served on a poppy seed bun; FRITOS® Pie Dog- loaded all beef hot dog with chili, shredded Cheddar cheese and FRITOS® Original Corn Chips; and Mac & Cheesy Dog – loaded all beef hot dog with macaroni and cheese topped with CHEETOS® Crunchy Cheese Snacks.
CPK has revamped their menu offerings for the upcoming season which include the additions of “The Works” pizza with spicy Italian sausage, rustic pepperoni, cremini, mushrooms, mozzarella, red onions, poblano peppers, olives and wild Greek oregano. The other addition to the menu is the Chicken Caesar Pizza which is a combination of two classic favorites a Caesar salad and pizza all in one. CPK will still continue to carry their Original BBQ Chicken Pizza and BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad.
Camacho’s Cantina has also made some updates to their menu offerings by adding the Camacho’s Bowl which includes choice of Carne Asada or Chicken Tinga, ranchero style pinto beans, seasoned rice, cilantro onions, salsa ranchero, sliced radishes and pickled onion slaw. The menu will still include Camacho’s Nacho, Tostada Salad and the Camacho Burrito.
The final upgrade for the season will take place in the coming months with the relocation of the TEAM LA Store into a currently vacant space off the Main Concourse that was formerly the home to the old Fox Sports Skybox restaurant. The additional square footage and new location will work to increase the retail sales for AEG Merchandising. During the 2014 Stanley Cup Final run, AEG Merchandising generated over $1.6 million in gross merchandise sales. The new retail location will help further boost sales as well as dramatically increase its square footage in a prime location for all visitors and guests. The new TEAM LA Store location is set to open in December 2014.
The 2014 Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings open up their season on October 8th versus the San Jose Sharks, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers on October 28th versus the Houston Rockets and then the Los Angeles Clippers open up their season October 30th versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.