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HARD HAT AREA : HOW IT CAME TOGETHER

October 1995 -- Philip Anschutz and Ed Roski Jr. buy Kings with intention of moving team to new arena. Lakers unofficially join deal.

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April 1996 -- Anschutz and Roski begin negotiations with City of Los Angeles to build on Convention Center land.

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December 1996 -- Anschutz and Roski, frustrated by negotiations, walk away. Los Angeles City Councilman John Ferraro helps woo them back.

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May 1997 -- An L.A. design firm, NBBJ Sports & Entertainment, wins contract for proposed arena.

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June 1997 -- Skeptics of deal demand proof Lakers and Kings signed long-term lease with proposed $250-million arena.

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August 1997 -- Lease agreements released--minus dollar amounts Lakers and Kings will receive. Teams signed 25-year deals.

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October 1997 -- Councilman Joel Wachs wins key concessions from developers. City’s Community Redevelopment Agency pledges $12 million. City Council approves financial and environmental agreements.

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December 1997 -- Staples Inc. signs 20-year, $116-million naming-rights deal.

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March 1998 -- Ground broken near Figueroa and 11th streets.

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April 1998 -- Clippers agree to six-year lease. Staples Center becomes only arena in nation to house three major professional teams.

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September 1998 -- Arena floor and lower concourse take shape. Estimated cost grows to $350 million.

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October 1998 -- Staples Center announces sponsorship deal with eight corporations, each paying reported $2 million to $3 million a year for rights to display advertisements. Arena lands first major sporting event--the 2002 U.S. figure skating championships.

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December 1998 -- Crews install supertruss, spine of arena’s 200,000-square-foot roof, a key step toward finishing construction in time for October opening.

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January 1999 -- Actor Tom Hanks pays $257,500 a year for 12-seat luxury box.

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February 1999 -- Total costs grow to $360 million as 800 workers are on site six days a week. 150,000-pound secondary truss is lifted into place.

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March 1999 -- Democratic National Committee chooses Staples Center for 2000 convention. Fire causes $25,000 in damage. Estimated cost rises to $375 million.

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April 1999 -- Developers sell $315 million in asset-backed bonds to recoup construction costs. Staples Center and Holiday Inn join forces to develop 30-acre “entertainment district.”

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May 1999 -- The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne agree to perform a New Year’s Eve concert.

June 1999 -- Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band confirm inaugural concert Oct. 17. The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences announces Grammy Awards will be held at arena Feb. 23, 2000.

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July 1999 -- Arena agrees in principle to purchase adjacent Bank of America property, a crucial parcel in development of entertainment district.

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September 1999 -- Water poured to create ice rink.

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October 1999 -- Arena scheduled to open with private gala Oct. 16.

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--Compiled by David Wharton

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