The Staples Center
The Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles was opened in October 1999, after displacing and deliberately destroying a low income primarily Hispanic community.
More than 250 residents were displaced, some receiving as little as 2000$ in aid funds for their relocation, when the average assistance package was around 9,300$ at the time.
The Staples Center led to a rebranding of the city, specifically the downtown area as a luxury tourist destination, overall uprooting more than 2 million residents.
Prior to 1999, the South Park neighborhood, situated between the Financial District and the Fashion District in Downtown LA, was a working class neighborhood like many of the districts in Downtown throughout the twentieth century. It was described as being made up of mostly warehouses, parking lots and affordable apartments for individuals who worked in the warehouses and businesses nearby. In the 1990s, many residents were Black and Latino. Their sense of community was felt more so internally, with many news outlets like the LA Times painting the South Park neighborhood as being desolate and in need of renovations and revitalization.
With the construction of the Staples Center, the area began to attract more tourists and individuals from other parts of Los Angeles who were going to watch live events held at the arena, creating more traffic and higher volumes of individuals frequenting the neighborhood. With this, restaurants and other businesses began to take interest in the South Park neighborhood. LA community builders decided that displacing more individuals for the sake of profit and labelling the choice as a step towards “revitalization and improvement” would work to make the neighborhood more “appealing” and in turn more frequented by higher income individuals from outside of the South Park neighborhood.
Stadiums and arenas have long been associated with forced displacement, especially in urban areas with predominantly BIPOC residents. Stadium driven displacement was nothing new for Los Angeles city planners in 1999. Just forty years before in 1959, residents were forcibly removed by police from the Chavez Ravine neighborhood after ten years of residents opposing the construction of Dodger Stadium.