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Sports Arena

June 27, 2007 |  6:16 am



June 27, 1957
Los Angeles

1957_0627_arena_modelHere's one plan that was actually built: The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Designed by the firm of Welton Becket, the arena was intended to be a 19,000-seat facility built for $5.7 million ($40,842,117.48 USD 2006).

"This is the greatest challenge my office has ever had," said Becket, whose firm designed the Capitol Records Tower, the Theme Building at LAX and the Cinerama Dome. "Although the plans exceed the limits in every case that was given to us, we still would have presented this same plan if we $11,000,000 to work with," he said.

The arena was opened by Vice President Richard Nixon on the Fourth of July, 1959. It hosted the Lakers (1960-1967), Clippers (1984-1999) and USC basketball (1959-2006) and was the site of the 1960 Democratic National Convention.

The arena is featured in the exhibit "Housing the Spectacle."

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