Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has sealed the deal that will turn the Forum into the new home court for the Los Angeles Clippers. The Forum was bought by the newly formed CAPPS LLC, from Madison Square Garden Co for $400M in cash.
Not only was the famous venue purchased, but it altogether was part of a deal that would allow for construction of a second arena – the Clippers home arena.
“The new Clippers arena project would be a privately financed, state-of-the-art, 18,000-seat basketball arena, team headquarters complex and community center located on West Century Boulevard between South Prairie Avenue and South Yukon Avenue,” said in the contract as posted by the NBA.
The deal is expected to close during the 2020 second quarter. There are no plans to tear down the Forum, and will keep it operating as a concert venue.
The Clippers’ billion-dollar arena is set to be less than two miles away from the Forum on West Century Boulevard, and be part of a larger Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Complex that would house team offices, a practice facility and public outdoor spaces.
“This will allow us to focus on delivering world-class experiences for music fans and building a new arena that will provide a unique environment and a true home court advantage for Clippers fans,” the Clippers said in a statement. Madison Square Garden Co. purchased the Forum in 2012 for $23.5 million and invested $100 million in renovations to transform the arena into an 11,000-seat concert venue. CAPSS LLC will not take over operation of the Forum until late June or early July, once the deal is finalized, but said it will extend employment offers to all current Forum employees.
Obstacles remain for the construction of the Clippers arena. The Inglewood City Council has yet to certify the project’s environmental impact review, which was released in December. The Clippers’ lease at Staples Center ends in 2024, as they plan to open their arena in time for the 2024-25 NBA season.
“This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said in a statement. “We are committed to our investment in the City of Inglewood, which will be good for the community, the Clippers, and our fans.”