Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has reached an agreement with Madison Square Garden Company to buy Inglewood, CA’s The Forum in a $400 million deal.
The purchase ends a lengthy legal battle in which MSG chairman and New York Knicks owner, James L. Dolan, accused the City of Inglewood of reneging on a deal the two parties had and trying to sell land near The Forum to Ballmer for a new arena, despite saying it would be used for a technology park. The agreement between Ballmer’s CAPPS LLC and Dolan’s MSG Co. paves the way for a new, state-of-the-art Clippers arena when the team’s lease at L.A.’s Staples Center ends in June 2024, while maintaining the Forum’s status as a popular music venue that has seen performances by some of the biggest names in music, like Dead & Company, Phish, The Black Keys, and so many more.
Ballmer’s new, privately financed, 18,000-seat arena is expected to open in 2024 and will work in tandem with The Forum, which MSG reportedly purchased for $23.5 million back in 2012 and went on to spend over $50 million for renovations.
“We know traffic is something that many Inglewood residents worry about,” said Chris Meany, a principal of the new arena developer, to Business Wire. “While we have gone to great lengths to provide an unprecedented traffic-management plan for the new basketball arena, this acquisition provides a much greater ability to coordinate and avoid scheduling events at the same time at both venues.”
Ballmer added his own thoughts in a statement to Business Wire, “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.”
While plans for The Forum were initially unclear during the previous reporting, confirmation that the venue will maintain its status as one of America’s top music venues is certainly a relief.
[H/T Business Wire]