Staples Center and the Perfect Storm

HANG TIME WEST – The Lakers are playing home games. The Clippers are playing home games. The NHL’s Kings are playing home games. The Amgen Tour of California, a major cycling event, will pass through.

All in and around Staples Center.

All between Thursday night and Sunday night.

“The perfect storm,” said Lee Zeidman, the senior vice president and general manager of the building.

He is right on both counts. Perfect for the arena workers and surrounding businesses because all three primary tenants remain alive in the playoffs, which helps recoup some of the money lost by the lockout along with being a source of pride for the sports community. But, what a storm of activity, the way fate converged as both NBA teams opened the second round on the road and came home the same time while the NHL club dominated its postseason beyond what even the most optimistic of fans could have dreamed. It’s that timing, not just the fact that this is the first time all three made the postseason the same year, that put the calendar into the blender.

“This will never be duplicated by any arena at any time,” Zeidman said. “In the country.”

Arena officials estimate between 200,000 and 250,000 people will be in the immediate vicinity between Thursday night and Sunday night, and that’s not a quarter-million for a singular event like a weekend music festival. That is with fans coming and going from the same area in a city that barely relies on public transportation, a factor that creates the possibility for a traffic nightmare.

Six playoff games, one massive cycling race. Three sports. Four days.

Thursday, 6 p.m.: Kings-Coyotes in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.

Friday, 7:30 p.m.: Lakers-Thunder in Game 3.

Saturday, 12:30 p.m.: Clippers-Spurs in Game 3. Crews need approximately 1 hour 15 minutes for the changeover to a Lakers game, with a different court, different seating configuration around the court and a different look in other parts of the arena.

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.: Lakers-Thunder in Game 4.

Sunday, noon: Kings-Coyotes in Game 4. Crews need approximately 2 hours 15 minutes to go from hockey to basketball.

Sunday, 7:30 p.m.: Clippers-Spurs in Game 4.

At least it’s scheduled for 7:30 p.m. A full overtime period in the hockey game would add about an hour, between the break and play itself. As if that won’t make Staples officials sweat enough – “I never in my wildest dreams thought the NBA would schedule games after a hockey game,” Zeidman said – the Kings sweeping the Coyotes would mean a trophy ceremony on Sunday. That’s another 45 minutes or so before workers can start the conversion to basketball.

Officials are being realistic enough to imagine a scenario where the Spurs and Clippers are in their locker rooms Sunday without the court being ready for warmups. But they have been made aware of the potential complication. The NBA and NHL have been made aware. The TV networks have been made aware.

Meanwhile, another set of crews will be cleaning the million-square-foot building, re-stocking concession stands and readying the 168 luxury suites.

Planning has reached all the way to where temporary pedestrian bridges will be in place for Sunday, to help crowds maneuver eight streets closed in the area for the bike race. And free coffee and donuts will be served at Staples Center between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. as part of encouraging fans to arrive as early as possible for the noon faceoff. Anything to help everyone get through the storm.


  1. Jon says:

    I don’t think it will happen, but LAC and LAL in the WCF would be unique

  2. cherrypopper says:

    the los angeles teams played their road games on different days, so what’s up with this (back-to-back) crowding now ???

    and that early saturday game will start during halftime of the champions league finale (BAYERN vs CHELSEA) !!!


    • OKCfan15 says:

      Nobody cares about soccer???

      • cherrypopper says:

        1.) that’s not what it’s called, you american rugby or kickhandball people

        2.) it’s by far the most popular sport in the world – numbers don’t lie

  3. JohnnyK says:

    I bet all you Laker fans can feel the money about to jump out of your walletr to pay all the bets you put on those old washed up guys…
    Kobe/Gasol/Metta are two steps behind the OKC boys!

    Kobe won’t even man up re. his turnovers, etc. against OKC, but he sure loved to throw the blame around to his team prior to game 7 with the Nuggets!

    Laker’s were very lucky to get by Denver…out

    • Lindie says:

      Don’t take it as’s an opinion Just like yours only based on the previous games with the Thunder. Part of being a FAN of the game! Ohh by the way…I also think the Lakers are going down. Don’t take it as hate just an observation.

  4. NHLnewFan says:

    Too bad none of the LA teams will be champion. At least the Kings will be in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Lakers and the Clippers are going doooooown.

  5. Why says:

    What makes people comment on an article about LA if they hate LA that much? Its a game, it’s OK to have a team and cheer them on but why go out of your way to disrespect someone else team? Please save the Loser comments at least for a neutral article not go surfing to hate.

  6. spursfan says:

    it’s great for the city in terms of $ but the lakers and clippers will be booed by the crowd (the worst fans ever) while going down 0-3 in their respective series. Too bad for them it happened this year. Hockey fans will be the only ones cheering.

  7. moshe says:

    i want to make a prediction
    this year the lakers will not reach the finals
    next year and year after that the lakers will be world champions again and Kobe will have seven rings
    please remember this day
    kobe with bynum and gasol and meta and sessions and a bench that will score average 25points a game and they will win every team in the league

  8. OKC2012 says:

    It’s really not that exciting for LA to have this happen. LA does not care about hockey, but the Kings are going to win that series so that becomes whatever. The sport people will be caring about is basketball, and sadly for them, both their NBA teams are going to be losing. Good luck in the future Hollywood!

    • Mystic says:

      Win lose or draw, the fact that they’re even hosting these games is exciting in of itself. You sound like a hater, and a bandwagoneer to boot. I’m from NY, yet I recognize the interesting uniqueness of this situation. Don’t be mad that your city’s pro sports history is briefer than a bachelor’s degree program. I love and respect what the young Thunder are building, and how OKC has embraced the team; you should enjoy it. No need to downplay LA’s playoff trifecta.

    • Gwoei says:

      well said

  9. Coach Dee says:

    I didn’t get the part where in “3 SPORTS, 4 DAYS”.

  10. LakersWillWin says:

    Downtown is going to be off the chain this weekend! La Live is going to be rockin! This is what La is all about, we are alive this weekend. My Kings got this, my Lakers are going to come back… And the Clippers? Well, I rather them beat the Spurs. Lakeshow Vs. Clips in the WCF would be pretty amazing.

    • The realness says:

      Hahah this shows how delusional you are if you think the Lakers AND Clippers are going to win their series…but that’s okay because reality will set in soon enough.

      • NBAfan says:

        sorry, but he didn’t say he thinks they will, he says he rather they will….try to read thins properly before you call someone names…

        Anyway, are you a bookie or something…why not just enjoy the game. the leading team’s fans hopes they can close it out…the trailing team’s fans hope they can even the series…..that’s why the NBA and competition is fun…

        What’s with all this wannabe basketball experts trying to make predictions left and right..lets just enjoy the games

    • yeah right says:

      Lakers and clippers both are going to get swept!

      • thanks poppa smurf says:

        NBAfan you are so mature and wise. Please stop watching nba you sound like more of a tennis or figure skating fan to me….ha