Planning for a new Los Angeles Clippers arena is in the early planning stages, as owner Steve Ballmer is reportedly putting together a list of potential sites for a new NBA facility.
The Clippers currently play at the Staples Center under the terms of a 10-year lease running through 2024, so are definitely early in the process. Still, despite the team’s success on the court, the team is seen as a third fiddle to the Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, and Ballmer knows a thing or two about new arenas, as he was involved early on in efforts by Chris Hansen to build a new Seattle arena.
Staples Center is owned and operated by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which controls all aspects of arena revenues. A new arena would open up a slew of potential new revenues, ranging from naming rights to concessions to suites. From ESPN:
In 2015, Ballmer told the Los Angeles Times, “We’re third guy in, we have third choice in dates. If you are a good businessman, you don’t come to the end of your lease and say, ‘I have no options, landlord, please take me to the woodshed and beat me.’ We’ll have options.”…
At Geekwire’s Sports Tech Summit two weeks ago, Ballmer spoke about the potential for innovation at NBA arenas, enumerating advancements ranging from upgraded broadband capacity to “an augmented reality experience.”
“We don’t own our arena, so a lot of things about fan experience — food and beverage — they’re not on our list because, frankly, we get what we get from AEG, who owns Staples Center,” Ballmer said.
There is always the potential of buying out the lease as well for Ballmer and crew, if the numbers work.