“When someone sneezes in your vicinity, you’re going to look around. When you go to purchase your food and beverage, you’re going to see how they’re served. When you walk the arenas and the stadiums, you’re going to look at how they sanitized it and who’s out there to continue to sanitize it,” says Lee Zeidman, president of Staples Center, Microsoft Theater and L.A. Live. “I do not believe we’re ever going to be back at whatever normal was on March 11 — regardless of what kind of vaccine, drug therapy or physical distancing.”
Zeidman has operated Staples Center, the iconic arena that is home to the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and NHL’s Kings, for more than 20 years, but seven months into the novel coronavirus pandemic, he doesn’t think he ever will experience it the same way again.
The year 2020 has upended the world of live entertainment venues, wiping out the majority of concerts, sporting events, theater, dance and opera. Staples Center and Microsoft Theater have canceled a combined 200 events — which amounts to a potential loss of more than 3 million admission-paying fans.