Clippers’ Owner Steve Ballmer Announces New $1.2 Billion Arena
Last week, L.A. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer announced that his team will soon be playing in a new arena, the $1.2 billion Intuit Dome. The new stadium will be located in Inglewood, California, blocks away from The Forum, which was purchased last year by Ballmer for $400 million to resolve an anti-competitive controversy involving the Madison Square Garden Company. In addition to buying The Forum from MSG, Ballmer also paid $66 million for the land.
The Clippers have historically occupied an awkward place in the city of Los Angeles, needing to share the Staples Center with the prestigious Los Angeles Lakers. While the Lakers are tied with the Boston Celtics for the most NBA championships (17), the Clippers have yet to make their first Finals appearance.
However, things have begun to change under the ownership of Ballmer, who took over in 2014 following the Donald Sterling racism scandal. The Clippers have made the playoffs in six of the last sevens seasons, with the help of star acquisitions like Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, and are effectively pushing their gritty ‘L.A. Our Way’ campaign.
Ballmer emphasized, “We needed to say, ‘We’re our own guys. We don’t play in the same place as the other guys. We’re going to have our own identity.”
“We’re good now, and we’re going to be good year in and year out,” he said. “We’re going to build our own building, more of our own identity, more of our own personality. And I think some of the fans on the other side, if you will, it’s like, ‘What? You dare to question our supremacy? No, we do.”
The new building, planned to open in 2024, will be part of a complex that will include the team’s practice facility and business offices. The Intuit Dome will feature 44,000 square feet of LED lights for its oval-shaped video board and make use of technology that will permit fans to buy concessions without requiring cards or cash.
The agreement also represents the most expensive arena naming rights deal in the history of the NBA. The 23-year deal between Intuit, a financial software provider, and the Clippers is reportedly worth over $500 million.
The Intuit Dome is anticipated to generate about $260 million in annual economic activity.
The Clippers organization has also committed $100 million towards a community benefits package that will include services for seniors, housing, libraries and after-school programs.
— Intuit Dome (@IntuitDome) September 17, 2021