Steve Ballmer and the LA Clippers are closing in on a deal to build a new arena in Inglewood.
Ever since LA Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer dropped $2 billion to buy the team, he’s spoken of getting them their own arena. His dreams are finally coming to fruition. Wednesday evening, the LA Times reported that the Clippers are “closing in” on building their own stadium in Inglewood, CA.
According to LA Times’ Brad Turner, the Clippers’ passionate owner will be financing the stadium completely with his own coins.
For years, the Clippers have had to share the STAPLES Center with the Lakers, Kings (NHL), and Sparks (WNBA). It’s been a bit demoralizing playing home games with all of the Lakers banners watching over them. And covering them with their own pictures only invited more jokes and taunting.
Step in the right direction
The Clippers having their own arena could possibly be a step in the right direction for the franchise. No longer will they be the “little brother” of the Lakers, and they will have a chance to create a legacy separate from them.
Per Nathan Fenno, the arena will be located near Century Avenue and Yukon Avenue. Also, it will be across from the LA Rams’ stadium. The exclusive negotiating agreement will be voted on by the Inglewood City Council on Thursday.
In 2013 the Clippers signed an extension to play in STAPLES for 10 more years. According to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz, they plan to ride out the lease before going anywhere else.
So, sometime in the future you could see the LA Clippers with their own arena to play in. And hopefully they won’t have to worry about being the historically inferior LA team by then. Will it affect the free agency decisions of the players this summer? Probably not. Either way, it’s a great move by Steve Ballmer, and one everyone is pushing for.
Assuming the votes for the ENA go positively, the Clippers will announce the news on Thursday.