Staples Center officially becomes Arena as Lakers prepare to take on Nets

The Lakers honored the change on Friday with a video highlighting the team's greatest moments under the Staples Center name.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Christmas Day marks a new beginning for the Los Angeles Lakers as they prepare to play their first game inside the newly-branded Arena.

The team lost to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday 138-110 in the final event at Staples Center under the 22-year-old arena's original name.

The building is changing its name to Arena on Christmas under what's believed to be the richest naming rights agreement in sports history.

READ ALSO | LA's iconic Staples Center will be renamed Arena
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Staples Center, the downtown Los Angeles home to several local pro sports teams, will be renamed Arena.

The cryptocurrency platform and exchange is paying more than $700 million over 20 years to put its name on an arena that has hosted countless major sports and entertainment events since it opened in 1999.

Signs, advertising boards and innumerable smaller details have been changed at the arena to erase the Staples Center name, which has sentimental meaning to L.A. sports fans who have equated the name of an office-supply retail chain with the center of the basketball universe for more than two decades.

The Lakers recognized the attachment and honored the name change on Friday with a pregame video highlighting the team's greatest moments in its arena.

Fans got a commemorative ticket and a gold T-shirt replicating the first shirt given away by the team at this arena during the 2000 playoffs.

In a halftime ceremony, former Lakers stars Robert Horry, Metta Sandiford-Artest, Luke Walton, Byron Scott and Gary Payton stood around a Staples court logo with the franchise's six championship trophies earned in this building.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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