The late Kobe Bryant presented Swift with the banner during her 1989 World Tour.

Arielle Tschinkel
Dec 24, 2020 @ 10:08 am
Credit: Getty Images

Back in 2015, Taylor Swift celebrated a big career achievement when she was deemed the artist who'd sold out the most shows at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The venue paid tribute to Swift by presenting her with a banner honoring the impressive feat, but five years later, the banner is being removed for a surprising reason.

At the time, late basketball legend Kobe Bryant had presented the pop queen with the banner, which read, "Taylor Swift, Most Sold Out Performances,” during her epic 16th sold-out show at the arena. It was a nice gesture, but it turns out that the Los Angeles Kings have blamed the banner specifically for a losing streak since their 2015-2016 season, calling it the “Taylor Swift Curse”—so as of this week, it has officially been removed.

Yes, it sounds too bizarre to be true, but hey, maybe they have a point! Prior to the banner being hung in the arena, the hockey team had won two Stanley Cups in a three-season span. They’ve since lost twice in the first round of hockey playoffs and failed to reach the playoffs twice, bestowing them the honor of the National Hockey League’s second-worst record last season. Yikes.

The team had been covering the banner up in an effort to “break” the “curse,” as the Los Angeles Times reported, with fans complaining about the banner being an “eyesore” during games. In 2019, Michael Altieri, senior VP of marketing, communications, and content for the Kings and AEG Sports told the newspaper, “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,” adding, “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.”

So far, it seems to be working, because the Kings have been on an upward streak—this past Saturday, they defeated rivals the Nashville Predators with a score of 7 to 4. 

Although this is definitely among the wackiest news stories we’ve heard in a minute, it’s true that sports fans can be very superstitious when it comes to things like this. Here’s hoping that Swift and her fans will always remember the special moment and achievement and that the Kings can reclaim their former glory, as well.