Staples Success: Three LA Teams Advance, Downtown Gets "Playoff Payoff"

For the first time in history, LA has three professional sports teams in the quarterfinals for National Championships

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Downtown Los Angeles at daybreak.

    The Kings, the Clippers, the Lakers: All three teams call Staples Center home, and all three weekend advanced in the playoffs this past weekend.

    A “playoff payoff,” the financial boom that accompanies a triple play of playoff success, has given Downtown Los Angeles an economic shot in the arm.

    Staples Center workers are used to moving fast, but this weekend they’ll be pushed to the limit.

    “I actually started sweating Friday night when I saw the schedule come out,” said Lee Zeidman, general manager of Staples Center.

    The downtown venue will host six games in four days: Kings and Lakers on Thursday and Friday nights respectively, then doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.

    It’s an unprecedented pileup thanks to the success of three of the city’s pro teams that play at Staples Center, and an unprecedented challenge for the workers who transform it.

    “We have 168 suites, 53 concession stands; we have to clean the building and stock the concession stands,” Zeidman said.

    But that’s not all.

    The Amgen Tour of California Bike Race arrives Sunday before the Kings game and local riders are being encouraged to pedal the same course before the competitors do.

    That's potentially 100,000 people downtown on Sunday, and that’s great news for restaurant's like Fleming's Steakhouse, which has already seen a spike in business.

    “It’s really the perfect storm we could hope for that’s really pushed our sales far above what they were last year,” said Michael Digiambattista, general manager of Fleming's Steakhouse.

    The only potential wrinkle in this well-oiled machine is a shrinking window between the Kings and Clippers games Sunday night.

    “My biggest fear is that the Kings game goes into 2-3 overtimes,” Zeidman said.

    If that happens, crews will be forced to work even faster.

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