Staying home: Lakers ink Staples Center lease through 2041

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers will stay home at Staples Center through at least 2041 after signing a long-term lease extension.

The Lakers and their downtown arena announced the deal Thursday. The 17-time NBA champion Lakers share Staples with the Los Angeles Clippers, the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.

The Lakers have won six titles during their 22 seasons at the arena that opened in 1999. The Lakers christened the building with three championships in its first three seasons before adding two more banners in 2009 and 2010, followed by the 2020 banner from the Florida bubble.

AEG, the sports conglomerate that owns both Staples Center and the Kings, also announced its plans to make an array of improvements and upgrades to the arena in the coming years without revealing details. AEG also has an ownership stake in the Lakers, whose primary owner is Jeanie Buss.

“Staples Center ranks as one of the best arenas in the world to play and watch basketball, and we are thrilled to be able to call it home for another two decades,” Buss said. ”The decision was made first and foremost with our fans and players in mind, and AEG’s commitment to investing significant capital in the arena means that the Lakers will continue to play in one of the world’s premier venues."

The downtown blocks surrounding Staples Center have undergone major additions and renovations in recent years, with numerous apartment complexes, retail spaces and hotels being built as part of the aggressive rush of development in the once-blighted downtown area of the U.S.' second-largest city.

The Lakers and Kings will have Staples to themselves in 2024, when the Clippers expect to open their own 18,000-seat arena in Inglewood after the expiration of their Staples lease. Billionaire Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is building the new arena just down the street from SoFi Stadium after receiving final city approval last September.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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