It is several more years until the Los Angeles Clippers‘ lease at the Staples Center expires, but that does not mean the team is content, according to owner Steve Ballmer.
Having a more competitive team in recent years has helped increase the profile of the Clippers, who for years took a backseat to their in-city rival and co-tenant Los Angeles Lakers. For the time being, the franchise is expected to continue playing at the Staples Center, as its lease at the downtown LA venue will not expire until 2024.
Yet it seems that the Clippers are already considering their next move. This summer, reports surfaced that was looking into several different options for construction a new arena. Ballmer has previously made it known that he is not happy with some of the terms the Clippers–as the Staples Center’s third, and many years least prominent tenant–must oblige by in their current arrangement.
When speaking of the issue again recently, Ballmer reiterated that the team wants to consider its options. More from The Orange County Register:
“When you have seven or eight years left on your lease … you’d better have an option than just going back to your current landlord hat in hand, saying, ‘Please, please sir, please give me the chance to play in your building again,” Ballmer said. “So, yeah, we’re going to have real options. We’re sort of putting those options together today.
“Staples (Center) is a great building, but if you look around the NBA, there are other great buildings that were optimized for basketball.”
SCNG previously reported on the early stages of the Clippers’ potential relocation out of Staples Center. A Westside location, a location in Inglewood near the Rams new stadium and a location in or near downtown emerged as early possibilities, SCNG reported in July
“If you want to build a new building, you can’t come up with that idea six months before the start of the season and sign a contract,” Ballmer said Monday. “There’s a long period that would be required to put a site together, get it permitted et cetera. So, we’re out now evaluating options.”
Ballmer has previously stated that he has no desire to move the Clippers out of the Los Angeles region. For now it is clear that he wants to line up his options, whether the ultimate outcome is a new arena or more favorable terms at the Staples Center.