The timing couldn’t have been better. Just as the Clippers announced the signing of their biggest star, Kawhi Leonard, the team has revealed plans for their new arena in Inglewood, a 26-acre development that would finally separate them from the Lakers and Staples Center.
Billionaire owner Steve Ballmer is funding the entire project, a rarity for mass-scale developments like these, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Ballmer, who made his fortune as the CEO of Microsoft in the early 2000s, has owned the Clippers since 2014.
The proposed Clippers arena would centralize all of the team’s operations into one large complex. Currently, the team is one of three that play in the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. But Clippers practices take place in Playa Vista, about 15 miles away.
The new area, dubbed Inglewood Basketball & Entertainment Complex, is a futuristic-looking complex. In addition to the games, it would house the Clippers’ corporate headquarters, training facilities, sports medicine clinic, educational spaces and restaurants. The 900,000-square-foot arena will also feature an enormous LED screen on its exterior.
Construction is expected to begin 2021, and be completed three years later when the Clippers’ lease at Staples Center expires. The organization has applied to fast-track the permitting process, though an environmental review is still pending.
If the project secures final approval, it would add to the number of sports and residential developments that are drastically changing the city of Inglewood. The largest is Hollywood Park, a 300-acre project multibillion-dollar construction that will include the future 70,000-seat home of the L.A. Rams and Chargers football teams. [LAT] — Natalie Hoberman