The Los Angeles Clippers will soon be moving to a new home court at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
In a $400 million deal first reported by the Los Angeles Times Tuesday, Clippers team owner Steve Ballmer bought the venue from its previous owner, events operator Madison Square Garden Co.
“This will allow us to focus on delivering world-class experiences for music fans and building a new arena that will provide a unique environment and a true home court advantage for Clippers fans,” a Clippers spokesperson told TheWrap.
The Clippers currently share an arena with the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. According to the Times, the Forum will continue to operate as a live music venue for now, and the Clippers will play in a 18,000-seat stadium to be constructed near the Forum, located in southwest Los Angeles County. The area will be renamed the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Complex.
Ballmer said in a statement that “this is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future. We are committed to our investment in the City of Inglewood, which will be good for the community, the Clippers, and our fans.”
MSG, led by Executive Chairman and Chief Executive and New York Knicks owner James Dolan, bought the Forum in 2012. The corporation and Clippers owner Ballmer (who bought the Clippers in 2014 for $2 billion) were engaged in a legal battle for the rights to the land for over a year. MSG sued the Clippers in an attempt to block the team’s efforts to build facilities roughly five minutes from the Forum on West Century Boulevard.
The Clippers wouldn’t comment in detail on the litigation but said, “we are looking forward to putting the legal issues behind us.”
The team also said that the purchase is being made by a new subsidiary called CAPSS LLC and noted the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.
All NBA competition is on hold right now as the country grapples with the spreading COVID-19 virus.