September 17th: The Start Of A New Era For The LA Clippers Is At Hand

There is a groundbreaking ceremony that will take place.

It is a big day in the history of the Los Angeles Clippers. It is arena groundbreaking day in Inglewood, California as Clippers owner Steve Ballmer can put a shovel into the ground and begin what appears to be a three-year countdown to the first game that will be played in the building sometime in the fall of 2024. All of the hurdles have been overcome. In 2020, Ballmer bought out the James Dolan-owned Forum arena for a reported $400 million and that ended Dolan’s lawsuit that was aimed at stopping the Clippers project. Dolan wanted to scuttle Ballmer’s venue plan because Dolan did not want to compete for concerts with an arena which is about a mile from where Ballmer wants to set up shop. Dolan was suing to keep Ballmer out of the neighborhood but his court action was against the city of Inglewood, not Ballmer, over land that Dolan thought would be better used for a technology center. Instead, Ballmer wanted the mostly vacant lot for his arena.

Ballmer’s plan includes a parking lot, a practice facility, team offices, shops, and an outdoor plaza with basketball courts on the lot. He wants to do business in Inglewood with the thought of generating significant revenue for the enterprise. Ballmer will keep the old arena open and use it for concerts. Ballmer could use the building which once housed the NBA Lakers and National Hockey League Los Angeles Kings as a temporary home for his Clippers if there are construction delays. The Los Angeles Clippers franchise started out as the Buffalo Braves in 1970. In a complicated swap of franchises with Boston Celtics ownership, the Celtics former owner Irv Levin got the Braves and moved the business to San Diego. Donald Sterling bought the San Diego franchise and moved his business to Los Angeles in 1984.

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