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Steve Ballmer Confident LA Clippers Arena Plan Will Come to Fruition

New L.A. Clippers arena

Despite legal challenges the proposal faces, Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer believes the plan for a new arena in Inglewood will come to fruition.

The Clippers are pitching a privately financed 18,500-seat arena in Inglewood that would be completed by the 2024-25 NBA season. The venue would anchor The Inglewood Basketball & Entertainment Center, a 26-acre project located on West Century Boulevard between South Prairie Avenue and South Yukon Avenue that would also include the team’s business and basketball offices, training facility, community and retail spaces.

In the summer of 2017, Inglewood entered into an exclusive 36-month negotiating period with Clippers-controlled entity Murphy’s Bowl for the potential construction of a new arena and surrounding development on a city-owned site. The possibility of a new NBA arena ultimately prompted lawsuits from Madison Square Garden Co.–owner of Inglewood’s Forum, a venue located less than a mile from the site targeted for the Clippers’ project–that seeks to prevent the proposal from moving forward.

Ballmer stated Thursday that the legal challenge is not dissuading his pursuit of the Clippers arena plan, and that he believes the concept will come to fruition. More from the Los Angeles Times:

“We’re on a path where we think we can build the arena, whatever happens in the litigation,” Ballmer said. “We’re moving along. Certainly, suffice it to say, I think the other side is just trying to slow us down a little bit. But it’s another thing where we’re grinders. We’re long-term players, and we’re grinders. You want to hit us in the nose? OK! We’ll keep moving. You can’t knock us down.

“I’m not sure they understand what they’ve gotten themselves into, from my perspective, in the sense that we’ll just keep going.”

He later added that the Clippers “are going to open that arena one way or another.”

Discussions of a new Clippers arena come as the team approaches the 2024 expiration of its lease to downtown Los Angeles’s Staples Center, where it is currently part of a busy slate that includes the NBA’s Lakers and NHL’s Kings. Detailed plans on the proposal, including renderings of the arena and surrounding area, were released in July.

Rendering courtesy L.A. Clippers.

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