The Clippers are trying to move out of the shadow of the Lakers both physically and metaphorically in Los Angeles. What began with the Lob City Clippers, the first Clippers team to really out-play the Lakers on the court, has now become an in-city and in-arena rivalry with real teeth.
While no one expects the Clippers to take over the L.A. market and really challenge the Lakers for their level of popularity, they hope to at least create their own community of fans within the city in a way they simply haven’t been able to just yet. Part of that will come with winning and doing so at a championship level, something they hope they can do with their new superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Another piece of the puzzle is getting out of the Staples Center, an arena that is, almost totally, associated with the team in purple and gold. The wheels are in motion to move the Clippers to Inglewood at a new arena funded by owner Steve Ballmer, but The Forum presented a major obstacle in the way of the move. James Dolan, owner of the Knicks, also owns The Forum as part of MSG’s properties around the country, and had filed lawsuits against the Clippers move to Inglewood out of concern a new arena across the street would hurt The Forum’s business as a concert venue.
Ballmer’s workaround for this issue? Buy The Forum outright for $400 million cash, something that was announced officially on Tuesday.
The Clippers have announced the purchase of The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., from the Madison Square Garden Co. for $400 million in cash
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 24, 2020
Clippers announce that CAPSS LLC has reached agreement with MSG to purchase The Forum in Inglewood. The Forum will continue to operate as a premier live-music venue while “resolving litigation surrounding plans for the new NBA arena” for Steve Ballmer’s Clippers.
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) March 24, 2020
That is an awful lot of money to pay on top of the billions it will cost to build a new arena, but Ballmer seemed to recognize that was the best way to just move forward and avoid a long, likely ugly, and costly period of litigation. In case you were wondering why people, including Britney Spears, are calling for wealth redistribution in this country, please remember that a billionaire was able to drop $400 million just to avoid pesky lawsuits getting in the way of him being able to build a new arena.