Staples Center suites refurbished; photos + Lee Zeidman interview - LA Kings Insider

In terms of life expectancy, Staples Center is celebrating young adulthood. It isn’t in its infancy, such as Edmonton’s Rogers Arena, which has officially opened but is yet to host its first NHL game, nor are there blueprints and designs of a building that will postdate it, as there are in Calgary and Detroit, the former city of which is yet to begin construction, while the latter is expected to open the doors to a new building one year from now.

But Staples Center, which turns 17 next month, has been undergoing a facelift for the better part of the last three years in which WiFi access has improved, LED lighting has been installed, and retractable seating has eased transition between events in an arena that bills itself as “the sports and entertainment capital of the world.”

Earlier this week, the arena publicly unveiled the results of a four-month refurbishment in which all 170 suites were upgraded, along with 16 event suites and premium level concession stands. The work, which began in May, cost $5-million to complete as part of a wider three-year, $20-million renovation process.

“We’re coming into our 17th year, and probably throughout the 17 years, we had touched up paint, added new TVs in there, looked at new carpet,” Staples Center President Lee Zeidman told LA Kings Insider. “We’ve done that over the years, but this was the first time we actually did a complete refresh, and we realized that when we were doing a top-to-bottom assessment of the arena three years ago that we were coming up on the shelf life of what a suite should look like.”

Influencing the desire to renovate premier seating was Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, a property of AEG that opened over the summer and will host the NHL’s Las Vegas expansion team beginning in the 2016-17 season.

“We had the opportunity to go out there and take a look at what they did for the suites, and then we conducted surveys with our suite owners and focus groups, and from that put together what we feel is a very fresh, up-to-date, sleek refresh of our suites,” Zeidman said.

Designed by MEIS Architects, one of the original architects of Staples Center, the private suites have “a sophisticated and contemporary feel with new carpeting, cabinet finishes, and wood grain floor tile, that all adds up to a distinctly contemporary design,” according to a release.

It continues: “With a palette of materials inspired by the carbon fiber and stainless steel details, the new suite designs evoke the qualities of a dynamic and technologically sophisticated machine.”

Well, then! I hope you’ll be able to join me and HAL 9000 when LA Kings Insider hosts an early season Suite Night, the details of which will be shared when we get closer to the season.

Until then, have a look for yourself. The suites depicted in the photos do look sharp:
-credit: Staples Center

May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

KTLA recently took a tour of the event suites, which have several different themes. Here’s video depicting the sports-themed event suite, which is decorated with Andrew D. Bernstein photographs of important memories in the histories of the building’s tenants.

I spoke with Zeidman about Staples Center’s recent refurbishments and how he envisions the evolution of the building well into the next decade.

LA Kings Insider: Over the last three years, there have been improvements to LED lighting, WiFi, retractable seating and the premier levels. Given that this arena is nearly 17 years old, do you foresee the end of the boom in the refurbishment process? Or do you see continued significant improvements being made over the next several seasons as well?
Lee Zeidman: First of all, when we built this $400-million arena 17 years ago, we always knew that we were going to maintain it to a level that I believe is unparalleled in the arena industry, and the men and women who work here have taken great pride in maintaining the building, and if you walk around it, you’d be hard-pressed to realize that it’s going into its 17th year. Secondly, we always knew that to compete in this marketplace, with all the venues that are out here, that we’re going to have to make sure that we stay cutting edge not only from a technology standpoint, but from refreshing our current facilities. So we always knew that we were going to do that. The other side of it is while we’re cosmetically changing certain things here, from an infrastructure standpoint, we’re continuing to make sure that our HVAC systems, our electrical systems, our plumbing systems are top-notch, as well. This building hosts anywhere from 240 to 250 events a year, roughly four million people going through it. So it’s worked pretty hard in the 17 years.

LAKI: After 16 years, how do you envision years 17-30? When you’re at Year 25, Year 27 of Staples Center, what becomes the big picture, and how this building will continue to evolve perhaps a decade from now?
LZ: First, I envision myself on an island in Bora Bora during those years, so I’m not going to be that concerned about it. [laughs] With that said, we have a great ownership group in Mr. Phil Anschutz and a very forward-thinking executive committee led by Dan Beckerman, our President and CEO. They understand what it takes to keep this building fresh and cutting edge with technology. I foresee moving forward as myself and my staff put together the various capital projects that we feel we need to keep it going, I feel that we’re going to continue to get the support not only from the three tenants, but from our ownership group and our upper-management team all throughout AEG, because they certainly understand the fact that in the next three years you’re going to have two new stadiums coming on board here in Los Angeles which will compete with content as it relates to special events, family shows and concerts with those buildings as well, and we already have a crowded marketplace here. So they certainly understand what it takes, and we will continue to maintain the building at a first-class level throughout the year and the subsequent years coming, and we will continue to come up with cutting edge technology, and maybe in five years, it’s a different scoreboard. Maybe in seven years, it’s a different lighting technology and bells and whistles that we’ll need to do here. So we will continue to bring forward what we believe are cutting edge technology projects as well as maintenance projects that will continue to maintain this $400-million investment and continue to keep it refreshed and looking as good as it did October 17 of 1999.

LAKI: For the Saturdays in which the Kings and Clippers split those dates, how is it determined and communicated between yourself, the arena, and the two teams which team has the afternoon game, and which team has the evening game?
LZ: Primarily it’s done by the leagues. A lot of it depends on where they’re coming from, where they’re playing. What we’ll do is we’ll give the Saturdays to both the Kings and the Clippers, and we’ll let the NHL and the NBA figure out exactly what they want to do. Generally the Clippers will have the afternoon game and the Kings will have the evening game if they’re both in town, but there may be times where they’ll work it out between the NHL and NBA switching that around. Or, the Kings may request an earlier start, depending what’s going on in their schedule, and vice versa with the Clippers, as well. We’ll give them all the dates, and a lot of the times and everything are worked out with the teams and the leagues.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

VIEW ALEC MARTINEZ POSTS
Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS