INGLEWOOD (CBSLA) — In an attempt to end an ongoing legal battle, Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has reportedly purchased The Forum in Inglewood as part of his plans to build his own arena in the same area.
Ballmer Tuesday reached an agreement to purchase the Forum from Madison Square Garden Co. for $400 million in cash.
“This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” said Ballmer. “We are committed to our investment in the City of Inglewood, which will be good for the community, the Clippers, and our fans.”
The purchase, made through a new entity CAPSS LLC, will resolve “litigation surrounding plans for the new NBA arena.”
As part of the agreement, all of MSG’s current Forum employees will be extended employment offers by the new owner.
“The Forum will continue to operate as a music venue, while plans for the construction of the Clippers’ privately-financed, fan-focused NBA arena, team headquarters and transformative community project move forward,” a Clippers spokesperson said in a statement.
Having The Forum and the new Clippers arena under the same ownership is expected to allow for coordinated programming between the two venues, hoping to improve traffic congestion around basketball games and concerts.
“We know traffic is something that many Inglewood residents worry about. While we have gone to great lengths to provide an unprecedented traffic-management plan for the new basketball arena, this acquisition provides a much greater ability to coordinate and avoid scheduling events at the same time at both venues,” said Chris Meany, a principal of Wilson Meany, the developer overseeing the new basketball arena project.
The Clippers’ new arena is expected to create an estimated 7,500 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs once the complex is open. The Clippers have also proposed a $100 million package of community benefits.
Back in July of 2017, MSG — also owner of the New York Knicks — sued the city of Inglewood for giving Ballmer the go-ahead to build his own arena about a mile-and-a-half south of the Forum.
The Forum — which was renovated in 2013 — is a popular venue for concerts. MSG contended that Ballmer’s new arena would then be in direct competition with The Forum for those concerts.
In its lawsuit against the city, MSG contends that in April of 2017, Inglewood Mayor James Butts tricked MSG into giving up its lease on a nearby parking lot by telling MSG it would be used for a new business-technology park. Instead, in June of that year, the city announced it had approved Ballmer’s new proposed $1.2 billion arena project.
The 18,000-seat arena would anchor a 22-acre sports and entertainment complex that would include a corporate Clippers headquarters building, team training facility, sports medicine clinic, community courts, park spaces, educational facilities, restaurants and shops.
Ballmer’s NBA arena would be entirely privately funded, with no taxpayer dollars.
Neither the Clippers nor MSG would confirm Arnovitz’s report.
Ballmer is looking to move the Clippers out of their current home at Staples Center when their lease expires in 2024. The Clippers have shared Staples with the Lakers and Kings since it opened in 1999.
The arena would be located on the southeast corner of Century Boulevard and Prairie Avenue, just across from SoFi Stadium — the new home of the NFL’s Rams and Chargers, which opens this summer. However, the arena will not be part of SoFi Stadium’s own Hollywood Park entertainment complex.