by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
INGLEWOOD, CA — After an intense legal battle brought on by MSG (Madison Square Garden Company) the now previous owners of The Forum, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer cleared a huge hurdle on Tuesday afternoon by purchasing the arena for $400 million. The team announced that the newly formed CAPSS LLC reached the agreement with MSG, which gives Ballmer the open lane to start the process of constructing his 18,000 state-of-the-art basketball complex that include practice facility and office space. The Clippers arena is scheduled to be located south of So-Fi Stadium near the corners of Century Boulevard and Prairie Avenue in Inglewood. The complex will also include park and a community center.
“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.”
Ballmer made it clear that current employees will remain employed under new ownership of the Forum. It will also remain a concert and entertainment venue for the foreseeable future.
The purchase of The Forum concludes legal battle with the city of Inglewood and Ballmer over building the new arena close to the arena. James Dolan who is the CEO of MSG claimed that Inglewood violated an agreement not to allow competition to the Forum in close quarters by working with the Clippers on a new arena deal. Dolan and MSG claimed that Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts mislead the organization throughout the process of negotiations with Ballmer.
Mayor Butts spoke briefly regarding the purchase of the Forum and what the sell means to the city on AM570’s “Roggin and Rodney“.
“It was always going to happen. The Clippers arena was going to happen,” Butts said. “We in the city tip our hat to Steve Ballmer. He’ll run to 2 pieces of land in Inglewood. I’m not ecstatic, I’m content. We knew it would end up in the favor of the city and the Clippers. We can now focus on other projects like the basketball complex, the concert hall next to city hall.”
The confident and relieved mayor went on to assure residents that the Forum will remain open for the future as he tried to calm fears of the arena closing after the purchase by Ballmer.
The new project is currently undergoing an environmental review by Inglewood, and public hearings to approve are expected to be held later this summer, according to the Clippers.
Inglewood is now home to two of the world largest billionaires in Rams owner Stan Kroenke and now Steve Ballmer, which bring even more life, opportunities and money to a city that is elevating daily. The vision of Mayor Butts along with Kroenke and Ballmer continues to come to fruition.
*The Forum was the former long time home to the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings until 1999 when both teams moved to Staples Center in Los Angeles.