Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has reached an agreement with the Madison Square Garden Company to purchase the Forum Arena for $400m in cash.
The NBA side has been searching for a potential area to build its own 18,000-seat arena ever since Ballmer took over the Clippers in 2014. The owner hopes to build a complex next to the Forum, keeping the arena for other live events.
Ballmer commented:“This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future. We are committed to our investment in the City of Inglewood, which will be good for the community, the Clippers and our fans.”
The deal could also signify the end of MSG and Ballmer’s ongoing battle over a new NBA stadium, with the sports and entertainment holding company being a part of multiple lawsuits trying to block the arena project.
An MSG spokesperson stated: “This is the best resolution for all parties involved, and we wish the new owners every success.”
If city approval is given, then Clippers will begin construction in the summer for the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Complex, which will house the new arena along with additional facilities for the team and a community centre. The deal is expected to close by the end of June, with plans on the new complex expected to begin shortly after.
The Clippers currently share the Staples Center with the Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. But under the new plans, the basketball side will end its association with the arena after 21 years.