Back in August 2015, Los Angeles’ Staples Center marked Taylor Swift’s record-setting 16th sold-out performance by raising a banner in her honor. Ever since then, however, the stadium’s resident hockey team, the Los Angeles Kings, have found themselves among the NHL’s bottom feeders. Now, the Kings are taking the unprecedented step of covering Swift’s banner in an attempt to rid themselves of their “Taylor Swift Curse.”
Prior to the raising of Swift’s banner, the Kings won Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014 while also advancing to the conference finals in 2013. In the years since, they’ve finished with the worst or second worst record in the league. Now, the Kings have announced that they’ll be covering Swift’s banner at all home games this season, according to the Los Angeles Times. Already, the move has proved beneficial, as the Kings won their home opener by the score of 7-4 over Swift’s hometown Nashville Predators.
“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 Michael Altieri, senior vice president of marketing, communications and content for the Kings and AEG Sports, in a statement. “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.”
The Kings aren’t the only Los Angeles sports franchise to tarp over Swift’s banner. The NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers do the same, in addition to covering the banners of the Los Angeles Lakers. Nevertheless, the Staples Center says it has no plans to take down Swift’s banner from the arena; it will continue to be on display at Lakers games and other Staples Center events.
The Taylor Swift banner is not gone but it will be covered for @LAKings home games moving forward. It was the Kings’ decision, not Staples Center’s. No word yet on the Lakers and Sparks. It is already covered during Clippers home games (along with the Lakers and Sparks banners). pic.twitter.com/qGgSSUIgmi
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) October 12, 2019