Taylor Swift finished the American leg of her Eras Tour (for 2023) with six sold-out shows at the SOFI Stadium in Los Angeles. Sold out shows are the norm for Taylor as she once received a championship banner from Kobe Bryant after performing 16 sold out shows at the former Staples Center (now Crypto.com Arena), and that banner has been mysteriously absent for several years now.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, and Kings all call Crypto.com Arena home. Fans have noticed that Taylor Swift‘s banner hasn’t been in the rafters for several years now, since 2020, but Arash Markazi from The Messenger went the extra step to track down where Taylor’s banner is and what the future plans for it are.
For starters, here is Kobe Bryant presenting Taylor Swift with her ‘championship’ banner on August 21, 2015. It came on the night Taylor Swift performed her 16th sold out show at the Staples Center, matching the Lakers’ number of championships at the time. Kobe tells her “16 is a very special number here in Los Angeles because 16 is the same amount of championships we have as a Lakers franchise. To celebrate those championships, we do something very special. We hang banners.”
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) June 1, 2023
Where is Taylor Swift’s banner in Los Angeles and why was it taken down?
When Taylor Swift received a banner hung in the rafters at the Staples Center, now Crypto.com Arena, that was one more championship banner than the Los Angeles Clippers had in the rafters. That didn’t sit well with the fans at all according to The Messenger:
“Clippers fans quickly grew tired of jokes that Swift had more championship banners (1) than the Clippers (0). The Clippers initially covered up the banner along with the entire west rafters with giant portraits of their players. Before the start of the 2019-2020 season, the Kings followed suit.”
Lakers fans also took exception with how Swift’s banner was too big and nearly the size of some of their championship banners. When the Lakers won their 17th championship ‘there was no more room in the rafters’ for another banner:
It looks like the Taylor Swift banner has been removed at Staples Center. pic.twitter.com/YBbQvZbcpc
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 23, 2020
So it was permanently taken down and hasn’t been seen or heard from for years, until now.
Lee Zeidman, the President of Crypto.com Arena, shared with The Messenger that Taylor Swift’s banner presented to her by Kobe Byrant is “folded up and locked away in a room here at the arena where we store other things.”
However, he went on to say that in 2 years when the Clippers move to the Intuit Dome, Taylor Swift’s banner will come back out so fans can take pictures with it. Saying “We are going to look for a place to display it on the main concourse. We want to make it a photo-op where fans can take a picture with it.”
Interestingly, there was never a ton of blowback about taking the banner down. The same couldn’t be said if MSG ever decided to take down Phish’s banner for 13 straight sold out shows known as the ‘Baker’s Dozen.’
To commemorate @phish making MSG history with #BakersDozen, a permanent banner was hoisted into the rafters at the end of the run's final show and is still on display to this day 🍩 #PhishMSG pic.twitter.com/C64swgvuHo
— MSG (@TheGarden) April 6, 2020
New Yorkers would also lose it if MSG took down Billy Joel’s banner. And it’s not as if Madison Square Garden has plenty of space in the rafters to spare. Using ‘no room after 17 championships’ as an excuse doesn’t pass the smell test. This really does seem like the Clippers and Clippers fans couldn’t exist in an arena where Taylor Swift had more banners than their team.