Fans are upset over the renaming of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The new name will be Crypto.com Arena.
Home to the NBA's Lakers, the stadium will officially change its name on Christmas day after 22 years being known as the Staples Center.
According to The Associated Press, the venue is under a $700 million deal with the Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform. This is said to be the richest naming rights deal in sports history.
Based in Singapore, Crypto.com has previously snagged some high-visibility sponsorship deals with Formula One, the UFC, Italy's Serie A, Paris St-Germain and the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. The company's inception was in 2016 but these purchases in the major sports fields have all happened over the last year.
Kobe Bryant's widow, Vanessa, disagreed with the new name as well.
She tweeted the building should be renamed after her late husband. She insisted the arena will always be "the house that Kobe built."
The five time NBA champion was memorialized there after his death in a 2020 helicopter crash that claimed the lives of all nine people aboard.
The only name name the Staples Center should do is calling it Kobe Bryant Arena. It's the house Kobe Built!
— #LakeShow Rudy (@LakeShowRudy) November 17, 2021
Vanessa Bryant's response to news of the Staples Center name change. pic.twitter.com/hV1t1G2OEM
— KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO (@KNX1070) November 17, 2021
BREAKING: Staples Center will be renamed https://t.co/MRFVQEhfcV Arena pic.twitter.com/1PYf9ZK7f0
— LakeShowYo (@LakeShowYo) November 17, 2021
Calling it the Staples Center for as long as I'm on this earth 🙏
The house that Kobe Bryant built 🐐
— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) November 17, 2021
The house that Kobe built (Staples Center) is gonna called “https://t.co/KjhKn4rAXt Arena"?
— Sean “Bean Bryant"⛹🏽♂️ (@seanlamarre) November 17, 2021
Staples Center will forever be known as 'The House That Kobe Built' 💜💛🐍 pic.twitter.com/iirjxGYtUs
— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) November 17, 2021
No one who lives in that city will ever call it that. That building will forever be known as Staples Center. Shaq and Kobe built it.
— Robert (@BertimusPrime86) November 17, 2021
👀 yeah man crypto must've paid hella, HELLA $ bc staples had the naming rights locked up for 30+ years from now, if memory serves https://t.co/8IhGItypYT
— mike taddow (@MikeTaddow) November 17, 2021
The only way I'm calling the Staples Center something different is if we calling it the “Kobe Bryant Crypto Center." Other than that, I ain't going for it! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/wRXRcpKZn7
— joydeangela (@joydeangela) November 17, 2021
Staples Center … forever 🥺 pic.twitter.com/3MB9epkwaW
— The Pettiest Laker Fan 🤫 (@ThePettiestLA) November 17, 2021
The fact that Crypto(dot)com had the audacity to go and purchase naming rights for Staples Center a year after Kobe Bryant's untimely death feels highkey disrespectful.
— James Flanagan (@DigitalNocturne) November 17, 2021
Staples Center is an iconic institution. Kobe. Magic. Lakers. Stardom. Dynasty.
Yeah, miss me on the whole Crypto name change. pic.twitter.com/ZeFsT7fddR
— Dorothy J. Gentry (@DorothyJGentry) November 17, 2021
The stadium is also home to the NHL's Kings and the WNBA's Sparks.
The Kings won their first two Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014. The Sparks have won three WNBA titles while at the Staples Center.
One of the more memorable features of the Staples Center is the 17 banners commemorating the Lakers' NBA titles hanging on the walls above the playing floor.
The arena has also hosted 19 Grammy Awards ceremonies, three NBA All-Star Games, two NHL All-Star Games and countless high-profile concerts, performances and important public events, including memorials for Michael Jackson, Nipsey Hussle and Kobe Bryant.