A huge victory.
In some ways, it really doesn’t matter if the Los Angeles Clippers and the National Basketball Association finish out the 2019-2020 season. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer got his biggest victory of the season earlier this week when he beat the New York Knicks owner James Dolan’s challenge to build a state-of-the-art NBA arena in Inglewood, California. Ballmer bought out the Dolan-owned Forum arena for a reported $400 million and that ended Dolan’s lawsuit that was aimed at stopping the Clippers project. Dolan wanted to stop Ballmer’s plan because Dolan did not want to compete for concerts with an arena which is about a mile from where Ballmer wants to set up shop. Ballmer still has to go through a number of steps before he can really put a shovel in the ground but getting rid of a possible court action makes life easier to get the arena built. Dolan was suing to keep Ballmer out of the neighborhood but his court action was against the city of Inglewood, not Ballmer, over land that Dolan thought would be used for a technology center. Instead Ballmer wanted the mostly vacant lot for his arena.
Ballmer also wants a parking lot, a practice facility, team offices, shops, and an outdoor plaza with basketball courts on the lot. Ballmer’s lease at the downtown Los Angeles arena ends in four years. He wants to be in Inglewood by 2024 and get a chance at creating significant revenue opportunities. Ballmer intends to keep Dolan’s old arena open and use it for concerts. Ballmer could use the building which once housed the NBA Lakers and National Hockey League Los Angeles Kings as a temporary home for his Clippers if there are construction delays. Local landlords have begun to raise rents in the anticipation of the National Football League stadium that will house the Chargers and Rams and the Clippers arena opening in the neighborhood.