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LA Kings to cover up Taylor Swift banner inside Staples Center

october 13, 2019
"Taylor Swift most sold out performances" banner, which hangs high atop the staples center, has become a topic of controversy in regards to the Los Angeles Kings and their lack luster performance the past few seasons.

Before their home opener on Saturday, where the Kings hosted and defeated the Nashville Predators, the banner was covered. At the request of the Kings, the banner will continue to remain covered during all home games. Staples Center president Lee Zeidman did note however, there are no plans to remove the banner. The decision to cover the banner during games was made solely by the team.

The banner, raised in August of 2015, was raised to honor the pop star on her record 16th sold out concert at the Staples Center. It was presented to her by none other than Kobe Bryant during her 1989 tour, but has since been met with much disdain from Kings fans. Fans (and possibly the team) don't think it's a coincidence that the Kings have failed to advance past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs since raising the banner. The Kings won the Stanley Cup in both 2012 and 2014, they also advanced to the Western Conference final in 2013. Since seeing the banner atop the Staples Center, they have been swept in the first round of the playoffs, and finished the 2018-19 season with the worst record in the Western Conference, rendering them unable to see any playoff action.

The LA Clippers already cover the banner, in addition to Lakers and Sparks banners. The Clippers hang large portraits of their players over the banners, and have been doing so since the 2013 season. The Lakers do not cover the banners, as it was gifted to Swift by one of the most notable players to ever sport a Lakers jersey, nor do they have any plans to do so. If there is anything to the curse though, it couldn't hurt the Lakers, who have failed to win a playoff series in the last 7 years.

The Los Angeles Times caught up with senior vice president of marketing communications and content for the Kings and AEG sports, Michael Altieri, who was quoted as saying "The connection to our fans is our highest priority and through our engagement they have made it clear that the banner shouldn't be part of their Kings' game experience."

He also noted; "We didn't see an issue in covering it for our games and in fact see it as an opportunity to show our fans that we hear them."

If the Kings 7-4 victory over Nashville on Saturday, in which LA scored 3 unanswered goals in the last minute of regulation to secure the win and two big points, is a sign of things to come, perhaps there is something to this banner theory after all. They’ll put that theory to the test again tonight, as they’re set to host the Vegas Golden Knights. (7 p.m. Pacific time)

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