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.
The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena was opened on July 4
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
. 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
Since the Clippers and Trojans have left, the Arena has become less recognized in the area and throughout the world. Despite this, the arena 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.
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.
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 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 comprised of 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.
- Every October, the LA Sports Arena is the site for Monster massive, a Halloween inspired rave, which is said to have held over 50,000 people.
- 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 2001 film Ali and multiple editions of the Rocky series.
- The floor area comprises a 144 by space (38,000 sq ft.), affording the largest standing floor capacity of any arena in the area.
- There is a vertical clearance.
- The arena has a unique, expansive floor-level footprint of nearly and 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 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.