The “Taylor Swift Curse” at the Staples Center dates back to the 2015-2016 season, a year after the Kings won two Stanley Cups in a three-season span. With the team struggling, Kings fans made Swift the de facto scapegoat, blaming the presence of the banner – raised in August 2015 – for the team’s downfall.
More from Rolling Stone
- Behind the Grammys: How the Staples Center Turns Into Music’s Big Night
- 9 Taylor Swift Moments That Didn't Fit in Our Cover Story
- Watch Taylor Swift Debut 'False God,' Strip Down 'Lover' on 'SNL'
Since the banner went up, the Kings have twice lost in the first round of the playoffs and failed to reach the playoffs twice, including the NHL’s second-worst record last season.
In an effort to break the curse, the Los Angeles Times reports that the team has begun covering the Swift banner at Kings games. So far, so good: At their home opener Saturday, the Kings defeated the Nashville Predators, a perennial playoff contender, by the score of 7-4.
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
“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,” Michael Altieri, senior vice president of marketing, communications and content for the Kings and AEG Sports, told the Los Angeles Times, noting that it was the team’s decision to cover the banner. “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 Staples Center resident to cover the Swift banner: The Los Angeles Clippers also tarp over the achievement, as well as the banners associated with the Staples-sharing Lakers, who reportedly do not cover the Swift banner. Despite the banner’s rejection by two-thirds of its pro team occupants, the Staples Center has no plans to remove the Swift banner from the arena.
Best of Rolling Stone
- 20 Insanely Great Van Halen Songs Only Hardcore Fans Know
- Kiss' Top 10 Albums Ranked
- War of the Crowes
See where your favorite artists and songs rank on the Rolling Stone Charts.