The Clippers and owner Steve Ballmer have been after a new stadium for years, to free themselves from the confines of Staples Center and that other LA professional basketball team. They’ve hit some roadblocks along the way, but got a nice vote of support from NBA commissioner Adam Silver in his pre-Finals press conference. Specifically, Silver likes the idea of the Clippers getting their own facility to make scheduling easier with them, the Lakers, and the LA Kings.
The Clippers are trying to build a large complex in Inglewood that would include a new arena, a practice center, offices, and other facilities. Unfortunately, they are faced with several lawsuits, including two from MSG, which owns the neighboring Forum. Knicks’ owner James Dolan is the chief executive of MSG, and their opposition is a real obstacle to the Inglewood complex getting completed (in addition to a couple lawsuits from the community). Silver said that this conflict between two NBA franchises is an issue, but hopes it can be resolved over time (he was noncommittal on the NBA’s involvement).
The Clippers have been overshadowed in their own building as long as they’ve been in Staples, and getting their own arena would really help them make their own mark on the city. With Steve Ballmer’s resources and the support of the commissioner, hopefully the obstacles the Clippers are currently facing can be dealt with in the coming years so that they’re ready to move before their lease at Staples expires in 2023-2024.
The arena story has been kind of under the radar over the past few months, but will presumably get more attention as the Clippers themselves rise in perception this summer (if things go as planned). With all luck, there will be more positive news on this front over the rest of the year. Stay tuned.