The Latest: LA Memorial Sports Arena has its last hurrah

AP News
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Posted: May 12, 2016 8:11 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on closing ceremonies for the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena (all times local):

5 p.m.

With one last national anthem and a champagne toast, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena has had its last hurrah.

City leaders and local history lovers gathered Thursday afternoon for a closing ceremony of the arena whose first event was a speech by Richard Nixon in 1959 and whose last was a Bruce Springsteen concert in March.

Speakers paid tribute to the Lakers, Clippers and other teams that called the arena home, and to the nomination of John F. Kennedy for president that took place here in 1960. Some said they had especially fond memories of the annual circuses in the building.

Tom LaBonge, the former city councilman who emceed the closing ceremony, said it was Springsteen and his dozens of concerts there that really "put life to the building."

The arena will now be razed and give way to a stadium for the city's new soccer team, Los Angeles Football Club.