Plans for a futuristic new L.A. Clippers arena were released by Steve Ballmer, as the NBA franchise owner envisions a privately financed sports and entertainment center in Inglewood.
Ballmer pitched the development, currently called The Inglewood Basketball & Entertainment Center, as being planned for the 2024-2025 NBA season, following the end of the team’s lease at downtown’s Staples Center. The centerpiece: a 18,500-seat arena.
The expected cost of the project: $1 billion, entirely borne by the team and owner Ballmer.
The proposed 26-acre project located on West Century Boulevard between South Prairie Avenue and South Yukon Avenue will include the team’s business and basketball offices, training facility, community and retail spaces. The proposed site is currently empty, but it’s in the midst of a busy area: a new NFL stadium for the Chargers and the Rams is across the street, and the Forum, now used as a live-music venue, is nearby.
The Clippers’ partners in the project include developer Wilson Meany, experienced in mixed-use residential, retail, office and master-planned properties. The Inglewood Basketball & Entertainment Center was designed by AECOM, a Los Angeles-based architectural, engineering and construction management and services firm, headed by Bill Hanway, Global Sports Leader at AECOM. Anderson Barker Architects and City Design Studio of Los Angeles designed the plaza buildings. Hood Studios of California provided the landscape architecture.
“My goal is simple. I want the Clippers to have the best home in all of sports,” said Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer in a press statement. “What that means to me is an unparalleled environment for players, for fans, for sponsors and for the community of Inglewood. Our goal is to build a facility that re-sets fans’ expectations while having a transformative impact on the city we will call home.”
The proposed new L.A. Clippers arena sports a three-dimensional oval design with a unique exterior of diamond-shaped metal panels inspired by the concept of a basketball swishing through a net. The seating bowl on one end will be backed by a “wall of sound” section running from floor level to the top of the arena.
The panels have been designed to provide solar benefit for maximum energy efficiency, as part of the facility’s planned LEED GOLD-certified design. The Clippers campus will achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions through a combination of carbon offset credits and sustainable design features.
Also noteworthy: the integration of indoor/outdoor “sky gardens.” These landscaped areas for food and beverage will be accessible from every concourse level. The complex also envisions a multi-purpose plaza complete with concert stage, community basketball courts and space for the community to gather and watch everything from Clippers playoff games to movie premieres on a supersized LED screen. We saw this approach employed by the Toronto Raptors in the most recent NBA Finals, but the “Jurassic Park” public space has been a popular addition to Scotiabank Arena.
“Inglewood is a diverse, dynamic community blessed with a skilled workforce, emerging infrastructure and a bold economic blueprint for the future,” said Gillian Zucker, Clippers President of Business Operations. “In addition to the thousands of jobs this facility will create for the local community, we are equally committed to working with our new neighbors in the continuing renaissance developing in the City of Inglewood.”
Renderings courtesy L.A. Clippers.
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