Inglewood group’s lawsuit challenging Clippers plan for arena can move forward: judge

Uplift Inglewood wants city to consider affordable housing on the site instead
April 29, 2019 10:00AM

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer shake hands at a 2018 press conference for the stadium

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer shake hands at a 2018 press conference for the stadium

The Los Angeles Clippers will need a court victory — but not on the hardwood — to build a new arena in Inglewood on land that opponents say is better suited for affordable housing.

A judge has allowed a lawsuit filed by the community group Uplift Inglewood opposing the development to move forward, according to Curbed.

The suit was filed last summer, after the city approved the NBA team’s plan to build a stadium on a 15-acre city-owned lot. Uplift Inglewood argues that state law requires the city to first consider affordable housing for the property.

Inglewood Mayor James Butts said that affordable housing isn’t an option for the site because it sits in the Los Angeles International Airport’s flight path.

The stadium plans are hugely contentious and were already the subject of a separate suit when Uplift Inglewood filed their claim.

New York Knicks owner James Dolan and his Madison Square Garden Company sued the city and the Clippers franchise last March. The MSG Company had earlier given up a long-term lease and purchase option on the property to Inglewood. That was after city officials allegedly said they would develop a technology office park there, only to later embrace the Clippers arena plan. The new arena would be a major competitor to MSG’s nearby L.A. Forum arena.

The lawsuits have shed a light on some of the political inner workings in the city. Documents that became public in February showed Inglewood officials and the Clippers worried as early as 2016 that MSG would find out about their plans before MSG released the land lease. [Curbed]Dennis Lynch