Last July, the LA Clippers had announced their plans to build their own arena in Inglewood, CA. That set in motion a timetable for the Clippers to no longer share the same location as the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time since moving to Los Angeles. With that in mind, the franchise has taken a significant step in that direction with team owner Steve Ballmer purchasing The Forum arena in Inglewood on Tuesday afternoon.
Clippers’ plans for new arena
Since Ballmer purchased the Clippers, there has always been lingering chatter that the team would one day have their own arena.
That discussion finally gathered footing last July as the franchise announced their plans to build a new home in Inglewood that will have 18,500 seats that will make its debut in 2024. That will be located next to the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers’ new Sofi Stadium. With these plans came the visual projected look of the arena that is a glass-and-metal structure with a modern design done by local architecture and engineering firm AECOM.
The 26-acre area will include a sports medicine clinic, facilities for community sports groups, dining and retail spots, a solar-panel-clad roof, team offices, and an outdoor game-viewing area where there will be large digital screens that are apart of what’s called the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Complex. The entire project is funded privately by Ballmer and the Clippers, but it will be done on land that is sold to the developers by the city of Inglewood.
The new arena is also expected to generate around 7,500 construction jobs and another 1,500 permanent jobs once the entire location is open. On top of that, the team has also presented a $100 million package of community benefits.
Steve Ballmer, Clippers buy The Forum
Nearly eight months after the announcement of new arena plans, the Clippers have paved the way for another significant forward in that direction.
According to Andrew Greif of the LA Times, Ballmer and the team have reached an agreement to buy The Forum from Madison Square Garden Co. for $400 million in cash.
In a deal that ends a long-running legal war with an opponent that had long fought to block construction of a Clippers arena in Inglewood, team owner Steve Ballmer on Tuesday reached an agreement to purchase the Forum from Madison Square Garden Co. for $400 million in cash, according to terms obtained by The Times.
The Clippers’ ability to acquire the arena resolves litigation brought forth by MSG to block the Clippers’ plans to build an arena along West Century Boulevard. With that now out of the way, LA can move forward with their project without any hindrance.
Clippers moving another step forward
With Ballmer being able to finalize a deal to buy The Forum, it clears a significant hurdle for the team to get past to build their own arena.
The Clippers have been the second brand in Los Angeles since arriving more than two decades ago. Although they can’t match the Lakers’ championship history, the new arena provides a chance to build further their name and fan base in the LA area.
LA has already put together a promising team that looks to continue to contend for NBA title for years to come with their core group led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Their success on the court, along with a new arena, could help lift them into more considerable popularity and standing within the LA community and beyond.
Nonetheless, this is a massive step in the right direction for the franchise to branch off into their own realm in Los Angeles.