By
December 21, 1998 12:00 AM

Bruce Springsteen opened Los Angeles’s new $400 million arena on Sunday night to a crowd of fans who were still ecstatic despite long lines and a 75-minute delay that sparked chants, catcalls and whistles. More than 20,000 Boss fans — including Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow, Calista Flockhart, Kevin Spacey, Chris Isaak and the Jack Nicholson-Lara Flynn Boyle duo — crammed the Staples Center (site of next summer’s Democratic National Convention) to see the first of four sold-out Springsteen concerts. The star didn’t appear on stage until the cavernous hall was packed tight. After singing some of his signature tunes, Springsteen stopped to review his venue. “Your new building here is really nice,” he told the crowd, “but when I pulled up I thought I was at a Staples store.”

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