The Los Angeles Sports Arena

The Los Angeles Sports Arena

Address 3939 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90037
Phone (213) 748-6136
  Venue Particulars  
Philips Arena Tickets
Seating Location
Weather Newspaper
Team Page
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Glendale
  The Facility  
Date Built 1959
City of Los Angeles
(Spectacor Management)
Cost of Construction $7 million
Arena Financing 100% Publicly Financed
  Other Facts  
Tenants Los Angeles Clippers
(NBA) 1984-1999
USC Trojans
Former Tenants Los Angeles Lakers
(NBA) 1960-1968
Los Angeles Kings
(NHL) 1967
Los Angeles Sharks
(WHA) 1972-1974
Los Angeles Blades
Population Base 9,000,000
On Site Parking 6,500
Nearest Airport Unknown
Basketball 16,021
$55, $43, $32, $25, $22, $22, $15
($26.74) - 1998
Hockey 18,750
Luxury Suites 2 suitestd>
Club Seats None
  Attendance History  
Season  Total  Capacity Change
1998-99 256,568 64% -37.2%
1997-98 408,699 62% 2.0%
1996-97 400,637 61% -3.4%
1995-96 414,560 63% -5.4%
1994-95 438,254 67% -0.7%
1993-94 471,034 72% -11.6%
1992-93 532,632 81% 6.5%
1998-99 - Attendance for 25 games due to NBA lockout.
Sources: Mediaventures

Memorial Sports Arena is one of the oldest in the NBA, and though the Clippers will be relocating to the Staples Center, they are still very much at home in the arena that housed the Lakers from 1960 to 1968. They continue to play several games each season at Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, ostensibly to build their fan base.

The arena is well maintained and doesn't show its age. But because the Clippers don't have a fancy, high-tech scoreboard, among other extras, a game here is unique: At a time when most teams compete to see which has the best mascot or electronic presentation, the Clippers stress the action on the court.

Source: Fodor's Four Sport Stadium Guide

Facts and Figures

Plans approved: January 15, 1948

Legislation: April 29, 1955
Governor Goodwin T. Knight signed legislation authorizing the sale of $8,200,000 in revenue bonds to finance project.

Excavation: June 14, 1956
Guy F. Atkinson Company of Long Beach began excavation for earth to be used on a freeway fill. The firm paid $23,000 for the earth and saved an expense estimated at $200,000.

Architect: June 14, 1957
Welton Becket and Associates of Los Angeles were hired.

Bonds: March 21, 1958
$7,800,000 in revenue bonds sold.

Contractor: March 21, 1958
L.E. Dixon Company of San Gabriel, the original contractor for the Coliseum, was awarded contract.

Ground Breaking: April 7, 1958
The official ground breaking was held in the "famous hole."

Roof Truss: October 3, 1958
The longest single truss ever erected on an arena was placed.

Dedication: July 4, 1959
Vice President Richard M. Nixon dedicted the Arena in "recognition of all who served their country in all wars."

First Event: July 8, 1959
Bantamweight title fight between Jose Becerra and Alphonse Halimi before 13,657 fans.

Original Cost: $7,407,644.00

Total Capitalized Cost: $8,361,462.00


    Vertical clearance to first girder -- 75 feet
    Interior length -- 437 feet
    Interior width -- 317 feet
    Length of arena floor between permanent seat lines -- 262 feet
    Width of arena floor between permanent seat lines -- 144 feet
    Length of floor between columns -- 278 feet
    Width of floor between columns -- 160 feet
    Total arena level floor space -- 130,000 sq. ft.
    Total concourse level floor space -- 101,557 sq. ft.
    Total building developed floor space -- 317,087 sq. ft.
    Minimum ceiling height beneath permanent seats -- 10 ft., 4 in.
    Basketball Floor: 60 ft. X 112 ft. (Court: 94 ft. x 50 ft.)
    Boxing/Wrestling Ring: 24 ft. x 24 ft. x 42 in.
    Ice Floor: 200 ft. x 85 ft.

Cat Walk:

    Lower -- 6 feet wide, 360 degrees television, 62 ft. above arena floor.
    Upper -- 4 feet wide; 4 across, 2 lengthwise; 75 ft. above arena floor.

Dressing Rooms:

    4 -- Team dressing rooms, 28' x 12'
    2 -- Shower and drying rooms, 10' x 17'
    2 -- Trainer rooms, 15' x 9'
    2 -- Restroom areas, 9' x 13'
    1 -- Officials dressing room, 12' x 15' with restrooms
    1 -- Star dressing room 30' x 14'

Escalators: Three reversible escalators service the arena level

Exhibit Area:

    Arena level exhibit space -- 110,000 sq. ft.
    Concourse level exhibit space -- 50,000 sq. ft.
    Total exhibit space all areas -- 160,000 sq. ft.

Handicapped Access:
A number of operational improvements have been made to the Sports Arena 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.

Exit Doors:

    Arena level -- 66
    Concourse -- 124
    Total -- 190

Media Service:
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.


  • Trucks can access the arena via a 40 ft. wide ramp located on the west side of the building.
  • 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.


  • All foam rubber, upholstered theater-type individual chairs from 20-22 inches wide. All fixed seats are on 15 inch risers per row, 32 inches back-to-back.
  • Total permanent balcony seats -- 12,389

Seating Capacities:

Loge Concourse Arena Level Total
Basketball 4,057 8,313 3,568 15,956
Boxing 4,057 8,313 4,357 16,727
Circus 4,057 8,313 2,476 14,846
Convention 4,057 8,313 5,000 21,427
Ice Hockey/Rodeo 4,057 8,313 2,176 14,546
Ice Shows (north end blocked) 4,057 8,313 2,521 14,891
Stage Show (center) 4,057 8,313 3,852 16,222
Stage Show (end) 4,057 8,313 3,956 16,326
Track and Field 4,057 8,313 1,214 13,584
Wrestling 4,057 8,313 4,357 16,740
Total balcony fixed seating (except ice shows) 12,389

10 gladiators and 4 genarcos -- 5 each side, 2 on each end.

Luxury Suites:
Two suites, comprising 28 seats, include a private entrance, bathrooms and lounge with television, complete bar and waitress service.

Clipper Club:
Private club and restaurant located on the arena level of the facility.

Ticket Windows:

    Ticket office windows -- 8
    Outside south/east pylon windows -- 6
    Portable booths -- 2 (total of 7 windows)
    Tickets for most events are also available at Ticketmaster locations.

Marketing/Public Relations/Group Sales:
The complex has a full-service marketing, public relations and group sales staff designed to provide promoters all the tools necessary to host a successful event in the Los Angeles market.

March 1999 - "They can blow it up if they want. It's a depressing building. You come in here and there's no energy in the building, kind of blah. The biggest thing is I'm glad I wasn't traded here, or I would have had to play here like another 15 games." - Golden State Warriors Guard Bimbo Coles

April 1999 - "This Place? Nothing positive. OK, I want to say something positive. It's positively a dump." - Houston Rockets Forward Charles Barkley
Directions to L.A. Memorial Sports Arena
(From Los Angeles International Airport and hotels near the airport) Follow airport signs to the Century Freeway (105) East. Continue east on the 105 to the Harbour Freeway (110) North. Travel north on the 110 (approximately 15 miles) to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Turn left (west) on King Blvd. to the second traffic light (Hoover) and turn right to enter the Sports Arena grounds.

(From Marina del Rey area hotels) Travel east on the Marina Del Rey Freeway (90) to the San Diego Freeway (405) North. Head north on the 405 to the Santa Monica Freeway (10) East. Travel east on the 10 to the Harbor Freeway (110) South. Exit Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Turn right (west) on King Blvd. to the second traffic light (Hoover) and turn right to enter the Sports Arena grounds.

Filming at the Sports Arena

Located in Hollywood's backyard, the Coliseum and Sports Arena are frequently used as locations for commercials, television series and major motion pictures. Our credits include the following:

Movies The Last Boy Scout
Rocky I
Rocky II
Rocky II
Two Minute Warning
The Omega man
Soylent Green
Wayne's World II
Mighty Ducks II
Forget Paris
Frank Sinatra Story
Escape from LA
The Great White Hope
Larger than Life
Space Jam
The Fan
Sunset Park
Television Shows The Adventures of Mark & Brian
Full House
Charlie's Angels
Cagney & Lacey
Heart to Heart
Simon and Simon
The Wonder Years
The Hank Gathers Story
Beverly Hills 90210
Arliss -- HBO
Video Tesla
Van Halen
Television Commercials For numerous national and international companies

December 2, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Los Angeles, Calif. - The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena could be demolished, yielding to either an amphitheater or a soccer stadium under draft plans released earlier to reinvigorate the publicly managed, cash-strapped entertainment venue. The report came from Annenberg Digital News, a service provided by the University of Southern California.

The L.A. Memorial Coliseum Commission released a 347-page draft environmental impact report for the dueling project options for the 15-acre Sports Arena campus near Exposition Park.

The Sports Arena has come under recent scrutiny because its financial woes may have forced the Coliseum Commission to rescind a ban on electronic music festivals, more commonly known as raves, at the facility, Annenberg reported. The festivals have been one of the few steady streams of revenue for the aging facility, likely bringing in a few hundred thousand dollars annually. The release of the draft environmental impact report officially brings the commission to a crossroads.

As early as January, the nine people who sit on the panel will have to decide to do one of three things: go forward with the soccer stadium idea; construct an amphitheater ; or launch a smaller renovation of the existing facility.

Annenberg said the amphitheater option would feature an 800-square-foot stage backed by an open half-dome shell and a large grass field flanked by flag poles. Not included in the plans are any fixed seats, video boards or fencing. Concession stands and restrooms "may be provided," the report says. Events that could be held include Farmer's Markets, rallies, festivals, exercise groups, concerts, neighborhood carnivals and special ceremonies.

The other option reported by the service envisions a 22,000-seat Major League Soccer stadium, offering some competition to the Home Depot Center in Carson. The stadium plan calls for MLS games, exhibition games and USC soccer games to be played there. At the varsity level, USC only has a women's team. Local teams would be allowed to practice there as well.

Annenberg reported that during the past five years, an event has been held there, on average, only once every six days. Nearly all of the events attracted less than 10,000 people.

The report states the Sports Arena needs $8.2 million in upgrades - from new seats to new plumbing and heating systems - within the next five years to keep operating. Each of the past five fiscal years, however, has brought operating losses totaling nearly $4 million. Because the commission doesn't receive any taxpayer subsidies, it doesn't have the cash to pay for those fixes.

The arena's present configuration allows it hold about 15,000 people for hockey, boxing and basketball events.

February 3, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Los Angeles, Calif. - Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum commissioners are considering a plan to demolish the 52-year-old Sports Arena and replace it with either an amphitheater and open-air "multiple use space" - capable of hosting rallies, festivals, carnivals and overflow parking for Coliseum events - or construct a major league soccer stadium seating 22,000 spectators, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Sports Arena opened in 1959 and was once the preeminent large-scale indoor venue in Los Angeles, home to the Lakers and the Clippers.

According to an environmental impact report, the Sports Arena "has had an operating loss of between $750,000 and $900,000 each of the last five fiscal years."

Buffalo Braves / San Diego Clippers / Los Angeles Clippers

Memorial Auditorium
Memorial Auditorium
Sports Arena
Sports Arena
Arrowhead Pond
Arrowhead Pond
Staples Center
Staples Center

Minneapolis Lakers/Los Angeles Lakers

Minneapolis Auditorium
Minneapolis Auditorium
GW Forum
Great Western Forum
Staples Center
Staples Center

Los Angeles Sharks/Michigan Stags/Baltimore Blades

Cobo Arena
Cobo Arena
Baltimore Arena
Baltimore Arena

Los Angeles Kings

Great Western Forum
Great Western Forum
Staples Center
Staples Center

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