Where are you going, where have you been?
The Forum is no longer great. The Great Western naming rights bought in 1988 expired in 2003 and the company that named it has ceased to be.
In 1999 the Kings moved into the new Anschutz owned STAPLES Center in downtown L.A., a neon piece of modern art in the “rejeuvenated” downtown area. Staples, Inc. is one of the world’s largest office supply supply retailers that first opened shop in 1986, in Massachusetts.
Personally, I liked the Forum. It was more based on the classic idea of an ampitheatre like the L.A. Memorial Coliseum – which I also loved when the Rams were in town. Strange how times change and the places and buildings of our memories seem to enigmatically symbolize that change. I also think that the company that has naming rights shows times have changed.
With the ‘Great Western” support the Kings were affiliated with a California based operation that helped locals purchase home and invest in the future of our country. With Staples, Inc., the Kings are represented by a global business with wealth and power that supports Chinese manufacturing and runs the Mom-and-Pop businesses that used to dominate our neighborhoods out of business:
“The idea for Staples was created in 1985, while founder Thomas G. Stemberg was working on a proposal for a different business. He needed a ribbon for his printer, but was unable to obtain one because his local dealer was closed for the Independence Day holiday. A frustration with the reliance on small stores for critical supplies combined with Stemberg’s background in the grocery business led to a vision for an office supply superstore. The first store was opened in Brighton, Massachusetts in 1986. The 500th store was opened in Vero Beach, Florida, in 1996.” – Wikipedia.
Anyway, the inside of STAPLES Center is, in my opinion, segregated and confused. There is no feeling that you are a giant mob hell-bent on backing your boys on the ice. It seems more like a Hollywood club where the *stars* and the “riff-raff” are kept well apart. I remember, at the Forum, constantly seeing John Candy standing in the building with a smile on his face and a shake of your hand if you extended the offer. Now I just feel, at STAPLES, that I’m being watched, or that I’m being segregated from the VIP’s and their plastic bodies. I also choose to take them up on the offer of letting me watch the game at home. I’ve no reason to want to lose my hearing, anyway.
Let me know what you think; or, if you’re in another region and you like, or hate, the building your team plays in, tell me about it…