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Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
Los Angeles Sports Arena
Location 3939 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90037
Coordinates 34°0′47″N 118°17′4″W / 34.01306°N 118.28444°W / 34.01306; -118.28444Coordinates: 34°0′47″N 118°17′4″W / 34.01306°N 118.28444°W / 34.01306; -118.28444
Broke ground April 7, 1958
Opened July 4, 1959
Owner State of California
County of Los Angeles
City of Los Angeles
Operator Los Angeles Coliseum Commission
Construction cost $8.5 million USD
Architect Welton Becket
Capacity Basketball: 16,161
Ice hockey: 14,546
Boxing / Wrestling: 16,740
Tenants
Democratic National Convention (1960)
Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) (1960–1967)
Los Angeles Clippers (NBA) (1984–1999)
Los Angeles Kings (NHL) (1967)
UCLA Bruins basketball (NCAA) (1960-1965)
USC Trojans basketball (NCAA) (1959–2006)
Los Angeles Stars (ABA) (1968–1970)
1984 Summer Olympics (July-August 1984)
Los Angeles Cobras (AFL) (1988)
Los Angeles Temptation (LFL) (2009-present)

The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena is a multipurpose sports arena in the University Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California at Exposition Park. It is located next to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum just south of the campus of the University of Southern California.

Contents

History

The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena was opened on July 4, 1959 by then U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon. Its first event followed four days later, a Bantamweight title fight between Jose Becerra and Alphonse Halimi on July 8, 1959. The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena became a sister facility to the adjacent Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and home court to the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA from 1960–1967, the Los Angeles Clippers also of the NBA from 1984–1999, the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL for their inaugural 1967 season, the USC Trojans basketball team of the NCAA from 1959–2006, the UCLA Bruins Basketball team of the NCAA from 1959-1964, the Los Angeles Cobras of the AFL in 1988, and the original Los Angeles Stars of the ABA from 1968–1970.

Since the Clippers and Trojans left, the arena has taken on a lower profile. However, the Lingerie Football League's Los Angeles Temptation play their home games here. The arena also still holds high school basketball championships and the occasional concert and convention, though most of these events are of a lesser scale, considering the popularity of other venues in the area, including the Staples Center and Galen Center.

Since its opening day, the arena has hosted the 1960 Democratic National Convention, the 1968 and 1972 NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four, the 1992 NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four, the 1963 NBA All-Star Game, and the Boxing competitions during the 1984 Summer Olympics. In addition to hosting the final portion of WrestleMania 2 in 1986, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena has also hosted WrestleMania VII in 1991 as well as other WWE events. NBC's American Gladiators films from the arena. Daft Punk played there as a part of their Alive 2007 set on July 21, 2007.

The arena

The arena has recently undergone a major renovation to bring it up to 21st century seismic standards and is well maintained. There are 4 fully-equipped team rooms, 2 smaller rooms for officials, and 2 private dressing rooms for individual performers. There are two additional meeting rooms on site which can be used for administrative or hospitality functions.

Spectator amenities include a full-service main ticket office, a secondary box office and 2 portable booths, 6 permanent concession stands and a first aid station. A club and restaurant are located on the arena level of the facility. A number of operational improvements have also been made to enhance accessibility for the handicapped. These include the installation of 14 additional handicapped parking stalls, hand rails on both sides of the pedestrian ramp leading to the floor level seating, handicapped accessible drinking fountains, an Assistive Listening System to aid the hearing impaired, conversion of restroom facilities, dressing rooms and bathroom fixtures for the handicapped and increased informational signage. Event presentation is augmented by a four-sided overhead scoreboard with several auxiliary boards.

The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena seats up to 16,740 for boxing/wrestling, 16,161 for basketball, and 14,546 for hockey. There are 12,389 fixed upper-level, theatre-type seats and arena-level seating which varies by sport.

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Recent developments

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission embarked on a seismic retrofit, designed to bring the Sports Arena up to 21st century seismic standards. In order to reinforce the existing 316,700-square-foot (29,420 m2) structure, a series of steel braced frames were connected to the existing concrete structural system at both the arena and loge levels of the building. To provide a solid footing for these steel frames, portions of the arena floor had to be excavated, then reinforced to provide extra strength. Once the steel frames were fitted and incorporated into the existing structure between existing support columns, concrete was then re-poured into the area. The original crown of the arena, one of its most distinguishing characteristics, was the countless small ceramic tiles, each measuring no more than a square inch in width. A multitude of the crown's tiles were loosening and many others were discolored. In order to remedy this, a new crown was designed, this time using individual sections of EFIS (Exterior Insulation Finishing System), which offered the decided advantages of better durability, easier maintenance and improved thermal characteristics. A foundation surface was applied directly over the existing tiles, in order to seal the crown and give the new surface something to adhere to. Once the structural work was finished, the walls, ceilings, doors, floors and other areas involved in the modification had to be put back together. Throughout the entire project, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena remained open for business. The resulting arena now features a brand new crown around the exterior of the building, as well as a new terrazo floor on the concourse level.

Notes

  • Located in Hollywood's "backyard", the Coliseum and Sports Arena are frequently used as locations for commercials for numerous national and international companies, television series and major motion pictures including the 2008 video game Midnight Club: Los Angeles, 2001 film Ali, and multiple editions of the Rocky series.
  • The floor area comprises a 144 by 262-foot (80 m) space (38,000 sq ft.), affording the largest standing floor capacity of any arena in the area.
  • There is a 75-foot (23 m) vertical clearance.
  • The arena has a unique, expansive floor-level footprint of nearly 130,000 square feet (12,000 m2) and 101,557 square feet (9,435.0 m2) on the concourse level, allowing the installation of any needed display, food or other programming requirements.
  • There is an enormous load-in ramp at the west side of the arena with a 40-foot (12 m) wide entry.
  • Print, radio and television media may be serviced on each side of the arena by installation of any kind of portable facilities.
  • Five permanent TV locations are located on the concourse level. In addition, a six-foot wide catwalk is suspended from the ceiling and circles the arena for cameras or spotlights.
  • Spectators can reach arena level seating area either by circulatory ramp on the southwest side of the building or by a stairway located next to the north doors. There are also escalators located at the southwest and northeast sides of the building.
  • John Wooden, Jerry West, and Elgin Baylor were honored for playing at the arena with a plaque in the nearby Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Court of Honor.
  • Every New Year's Eve, a Dance music festival called Together As One is presented, featuring various House, Electro, Techno and Trance DJ's. On New Year's Eve 2008, artists such as Armin Van Buuren and deadmau5 performed in front of tens of thousands of people.
  • Every October around Halloween, the LA Sports Arena is the site for Monster massive, a Halloween inspired rave, which is said to have held over 70,000 people in 2008.
  • In 1975, from April 23 through April 27, Pink Floyd performed a series of five concerts at the arena in anticipation of their upcoming album Wish You Were Here, where approximately 500 concert goers were arrested, mostly on charges involving possession of marijuana.[1][2]
  • Pink Floyd later recorded, with some help from the arena's PA system and acoustics, a guitar part for the introduction of the track "Sorrow" for their studio album A Momentary Lapse of Reason.
  • Michael Jackson performed at six sold out shows at the arena, attended by 108,000 people in total as part of his Last Leg during the Bad World Tour in 1989.
  • During an April 15 2009 performance, Bruce Springsteen called the arena "the joint that don't disappoint." Also during the performance on April 16, he referred to the Sports Arena as "the dump that jumps".

See also

References

External links

Preceded by
Pan-Pacific Auditorium
Home of the
USC Trojans

1959–2006
Succeeded by
Galen Center
Preceded by
Anaheim Convention Center
Home of the
Los Angeles Stars

1968–1970
Succeeded by
Salt Palace
Preceded by
Minneapolis Armory
Home of the
Los Angeles Lakers

1960–1967
Succeeded by
The Forum
Preceded by
San Diego Sports Arena
Home of the
Los Angeles Clippers

1984–1999
Succeeded by
Staples Center
Preceded by
Long Beach Arena
Home of the
Los Angeles Kings

1967
Succeeded by
The Forum
Preceded by
Pan-Pacific Auditorium
Home of the
UCLA Bruins

1960–1965
Succeeded by
Pauley Pavilion
Preceded by
International Amphitheatre
Host of the
Democratic National Convention

1960
Succeeded by
Atlantic City Convention Hall
Preceded by
Kiel Auditorium
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

1963
Succeeded by
Boston Garden
Preceded by

Freedom Hall
Astrodome
NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

1968
1972
Succeeded by

Freedom Hall
St. Louis Arena
Preceded by
Madison Square Garden
Host of WrestleMania 2
w/ Nassau Coliseum & Rosemont Horizon

1986
Succeeded by
Pontiac Silverdome
Preceded by
SkyDome
Host of WrestleMania VII
1991
Succeeded by
Hoosier Dome

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