Los Angeles Clippers Unveil Plans for $1.1B Basketball Arena in Inglewood
INGLEWOOD, CALIF. — The NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers have unveiled plans for a $1.1 billion arena and team headquarters in Inglewood, located just southwest of downtown Los Angeles.
The Inglewood Basketball & Entertainment Center will be located along Prairie Avenue and West Century Boulevard and offer seating for approximately 18,500 fans. In addition, the building will house the Clippers’ team offices, training facility and a sports medicine clinic, essentially making Inglewood the team’s full-time home. The project will also feature retail, restaurants and educational facilities, as well as public basketball courts and an event plaza.
A developer and general contractor have not yet been named, but the project will be entirely privately financed. The proposed site does not house any homes or churches and includes many buildings that have been vacant for decades, according to the developers.
It is unclear how many new jobs that the project will create, but the Clippers have pledged to make 35 percent of those jobs local hires. A construction timeline is still being negotiated, but the team’s lease at the Staples Center, which it shares with the Lakers, expires in 2024. In addition, Curbed Los Angeles reports that a lawsuit filed by Madison Square Garden (MSG), which owns the nearby Forum and has accused city leaders and the team of negotiating the deal for the new arena on land once leased by MSG, may encumber the project.
But Clippers owner and former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer has expressed confidence that the project would be approved and would actually come to fruition. Ballmer also told ESPN that the new arena will appeal to players, which he says is a key consideration for free agents looking at the Los Angeles market.
“Being in L.A., the free agency thing will also be important to us,” said Ballmer, whose team landed two high-profile free agents this offseason in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. “That means we have to invest in the players’ experience.”
Curbed also reported that Inglewood Mayor James Butts supports the project.
“The Clippers’ presence in our city will create a sustainable revenue source and boost civic pride, revitalizing our community for years to come,” Butts said in a statement.
Inglewood will also soon be home to a 70,000-seat NFL stadium that will be shared by the both Los Angeles teams, the Rams and the Chargers. Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Stockbridge Capital Group are co-developing that project, which is under construction and expected to be ready for the 2020 NFL season.
— Taylor Williams