Beginning Oct. 12, the Staples Center is choosing to cover the banner hung up in 2015 to commemorate Taylor Swift’s record number of sold out concerts at the venue in response to the high demand from Los Angeles Kings fans.
The Kings haven’t surpassed the first round of playoffs, and last season, they played what is considered their second-worst record. Now, many fans have begun to see the banner as a curse on the team.
“The ‘Taylor Swift Curse’ at the Staples Center dates back to the 2015-2016 season, a year after the Kings won two Stanley Cups in a three-season span,” reported the Rolling Stone. “With the team struggling, Kings fans made Swift the de facto scapegoat, blaming the presence of the banner – raised in August 2015 – for the team’s downfall.”
Michael Altieri, Senior Vice President of marketing, communications and content for the Kings, decided to discuss covering the banner with the Staples Center after continuous fan feedback.
“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,” said Altieri for the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
Since covering it up, the Kings have found it to be a solution to their game-playing problems. In their first game on Oct. 12 following the cover up, the Kings beat the Nashville Predators by a score of 7 to 4. However, they soon lost their next game on Oct. 13 to the Las Vegas Golden Knights with a score of 5 to 2.
Besides the Kings, many other Los Angeles sports teams have caught onto this trend and done the same. The Clippers added Swift’s banner to their list of banners to cover along with all of the Lakers’ championship banners due its supposed curse. The Lakers have no plans to cover the banner, likely because Kobe Bryant was the one to present the banner in question to Swift in the first place.
“L.A.’s two NBA teams who play at Staples Center have differing philosophies on the unfurled fabric,” according to USA Today. “The Clippers cover Swift’s banner, along with those of the Lakers and the WNBA’s Sparks, for their home games. The Lakers don’t cover anything.”
Meanwhile, Swift currently has made no plans to return to the Staples Center, and instead, she will be performing at SoFi Stadium next July. “Swift has not performed at Staples Center since the raising of the banner,” stated The Washington Post in discussing the banner coverup. “Instead, she’ll open SoFi Stadium, the $5 billion stadium that will be home to the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams, with two shows next July. We’ll see whether the Rams and Chargers can just shake it off.”