A call for government help.
When Steve Ballmer talks politicians listen. Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO and the owner of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Clippers, wants a new arena for his basketball business and has decided that Inglewood, California is a great place to relocate his business. Inglewood is adjacent to Los Angeles and has a long sports history. Hollywood Park racetrack lasted from 1938 through 2013 and the land that housed the racetrack is where the National Football League’s Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke is building a football facility for his Rams and the Spanos family Chargers. Jack Kent Cooke built the Forum very close to the racetrack and that facility was home to Cooke’s NBA Lakers and NHL Kings from 1967-1999. The Forum today is owned by Madison Square Garden and is a concert venue.
Ballmer’s lease with the downtown LA arena is done in 2024 so he really needs to get all sorts of approvals to build his arena in time for the 2024-25 NBA season. There are some problems to overcome. Madison Square Garden doesn’t want competition from a nearby arena and is trying to block Ballmer and Inglewood from building the venue. California has some of the strictest environmental laws concerning development in the country and that is a big concern for Ballmer and local elected officials. But there is no problem, nothing that state legislators cannot fix. Assembly Bill 987 can come to the rescue and fast track Ballmer’s plan and avoid those lengthy environment reviews that everyone connected to the arena project wants to avoid. It is the second time that Ballmer has asked for legislative help. Last year, Senate Bill 789 was introduced by State Senator Stephen Bradford but it went nowhere. For Ballmer, there will be lobbying that needs to take place in Sacramento to convince California state elected officials to fast track his building. Just another sports call for public help.
Ballmer wants a new building.