Members of the Los Angeles Police Department and California Highway Patrol remove the national, state, city, and county, flags from in front of the Sports Arena./OW photo courtesy of Jason Lewis (203162)

The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena was given it’s final official send off, as city leaders and community members attended a ceremony in front of the building that opened in 1959.

Los Angeles Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Councilmember Curren Price, and other city officials spoke about the impact that the historic area had on the community, and also touched on the plans for the construction of a $250-million soccer stadium.

“This is a bittersweet moment for me as councilperson in this area,” Price said. “I’m very proud of the Sports Arena, and the unique history that it has played, not just in our neighborhood, but really in our city.”

Price talked about the many major events that were held in the Sports Arena, which was the home to the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, USC and UCLA basketball, and many boxing title fights.

“But that was then, and now is now,” Price said. That’s what’s so exciting about the New 9. This past Friday the council gave the L.A. Football Club the green light to proceed with plans to build a world class soccer stadium. We’re calling it a cathedral to soccer.”

The new stadium will seat 22,000 people, feature a museum, restaurants, retail and office space.

The project is expected to create 3,000 construction and full-time jobs and generate $129-million annually from stadium operations.

The Los Angeles Club will debut in 2018 as a