In the middle of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the Los Angeles Clippers have moved out of the Staples Center.
The Clippers will be moving into the old home of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer whose net worth as of October 2019, is estimated at 51.9 billion dollars has reached an agreement to purchase the Forum in Inglewood, California.
The Clippers announced in a statement the newly formed CAPSS LLC reached the agreement with The Madison Square Garden Company, which owned the Forum, to purchase the music venue for $400 million in cash.
“This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Baller said in a statement. “We are committed to our investment in the City of Inglewood, which will be good for the community, the Clippers, and our fans.”
The Forum will continue to operate as a music venue. At the same time, plans for the construction of the Clippers’ privately-financed, fan-focused NBA arena, team headquarters, and transformative community project move forward.
According to the Washington Post, the future new NBA arena could total $1 billion.
The Clippers said the arena would create an estimated 7,500 “high-paying construction jobs” and 1,500 permanent jobs once the complex is open. The Clippers also said they have proposed a $100 million package of community benefits that will be used to improve local parks, libraries, and police and fire services.
The team also said MSG’s current Forum employees “will be extended employment offers by the new owner” as part of the agreement.
History must be told before the Clippers build this futuristic NBA arena.
Opening on December 30, 1967, The Great Western Forum, also known informally as the L.A. Forum and nicknamed the “Fabulous Forum” by Lakers announcer Chick Hearn. Has created some big seats to fill for that new arena, pun intended.
The Forum became a landmark in Los Angeles, mainly due to the Lakers’ success and the Hollywood celebrities seen continuously there. It hosted tennis matches, music concerts, boxing matches, and political events.
The Lakers were successful during the 1980s, winning five NBA championships and making the NBA Finals every year except 1981 and 1986.
The Jackson 5 performed twice at the Forum: on June 20, 1970, during their first national tour and on August 26, 1972, during their third national tour. The 1970 show broke attendance records, with 18,675 paid admissions and a gross income of $105,000.
The Forum was home to the Los Angeles Kings hockey team also. In April 1982, the Forum was the site of the “Miracle on Manchester”, in which the Kings overcame a 5–0 deficit in a first-round Stanley Cup playoff game against the Edmonton Oilers to win 6–5 in overtime. With additional upset wins in Games 1 and 5 of the five-game series, the Kings eliminated the heavily favored Oilers to reach the second round.
Coincidently, the Kings’ owners, who were real-estate developers, agreed to develop the Staples Center. Lakers owner Jerry Buss decided to move the Lakers into the new arena as co-tenants with the Kings and a third tenant, the Clippers, who would move there from the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
The Lakers’ 118–107 playoff loss to the San Antonio Spurs on May 23, 1999, was their last regular or postseason game played at the Forum; they played two preseason games there the following year before they moved to Staples Center.
On October 9, 2009, the Lakers returned to the Forum for a preseason game against the Golden State Warriors to celebrate the team’s 50th season in Los Angeles; the Lakers lost 110–91.
Along with part of that history, it will all be rubble after it is torn down.
Clearing existing litigation that was standing in the way of Ballmer building a new state-of-the-art arena, for his home team, according to the Clippers.
“By reaching an agreement with MSG, CAPSS LLC will acquire the Inglewood venue, simultaneously resolving litigation surrounding plans for the new NBA arena,” the release said.
MSG, which also owns the New York Knicks, is who was in a legal battle with the city of Inglewood and Ballmer over building the new arena in close vicinity to the Forum. James Dolan, MSG’s executive chairman, and CEO, alleged that Inglewood violated an agreement not to allow competition to the Forum in such proximity by working with the Clippers on a new arena.
Dolan is a silent winner in all of this. He purchased the Forum for $23.5 million. He added $75 million to renovate it and gets four times his investment in eight years.
The purchase of the Forum remains subject to closing conditions but is expected to close during the second calendar quarter of 2020.
Purchased is one thing; the coronavirus is on the verge of changing the seating arrangements.