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Barbara Boxer Joins Fight Against Proposed Clippers Inglewood Arena

Los Angeles Clippers

Retired United States Senator Barbara Boxer is speaking out against a new Los Angeles Clippers arena in Inglewood, calling on the team to scrap the proposal. 

The Clippers are in discussions about building a new arena in Inglewood. If constructed, the venue would be part of a larger development that includes a practice facility, outdoor plaza, retail space, team offices, a sports medicine center, and perhaps other features.

While it is not a finalized plan at this point, the proposed arena has prompted plenty of concerns from Inglewood residents over its potential effect on housing prices. Specifically, it is feared that if the Clippers build a new arena in a city where rent prices are already rising, it will lead to current residents being priced out and ultimately displaced.

Those campaigning against the arena have a supporter in Boxer, a retired U.S. Senator who represented California in the senate from 1993-2017. Boxer has assured residents that she is behind the effort to stop the proposal, and has publicly called on Clippers owner Steve Ballmer to not build in Inglewood. More from Curbed LA:

Unlike the city of Los Angeles, Inglewood doesn’t have rent control or rent stabilization. Without it, landlords are allowed to hike rents by however much they want. An effort to put rent control on the ballot in Inglewood proved unsuccessful….

As of July, the cost of renting in Inglewood is up 12.1 percent since the beginning of 2016, compared to 7.4 percent in all Los Angeles County, CoStar data shows.

Boxer told residents that she’ll support their fight against the arena and urged them to advocate against a state bill, AB 987, that would fast-track the arena by allowing it to skirt state environmental law. AB 987 is supported by [Inglewood Mayor James] Butts and Ballmer.

“Many rich guys have a dream to own a sports team. That’s fine, except if the dream turns into a nightmare for the community,” she said. “So I say to Mr. Ballmer: Enjoy your team—but do not build your arena here.”

Proponents have billed the plan as a job-creator and potential boost to Inglewood’s economy, though groups such as the Uplift Inglewood Coalition have been fighting the concept over its potential effect on housing prices. The proposal calls for the arena and development to be privately financed. It would be constructed on a multi-acre, city-owned site bounded Century Boulevard, Doty Avenue, 103rd Street, and Prairie Avenue, located near an under-construction NFL stadium that will open for the Rams and Chargers in 2020. The Clippers have been exploring an Inglewood arena as they approach the end of their lease for the Staples Center, which runs through 2024.

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