$400M later, Ballmer emerges the victor in legal fight with MSG

Madison Square Garden Co. was involved in five suits over a proposed Clippers stadium

Los Angeles /
May.May 06, 2020 10:00 AM
James Dolan and Steve Ballmer, with The Forum (Credit: John Lamparski/WireImage via Getty Images, Steven Ferdman/Getty Images, and Ritapepaj/Wikipedia)
James Dolan and Steve Ballmer, with The Forum (Credit: John Lamparski/WireImage via Getty Images, Steven Ferdman/Getty Images, and Ritapepaj/Wikipedia)

The three-year-long legal brawl between the Madison Square Garden Company, the city of Inglewood, and the Los Angeles Clippers, has finally come to an end.

Attorneys filed papers in L.A. Superior Court on Tuesday to dismiss five lawsuits either filed by Madison Square Garden Co. itself or backed by the company, according to the L.A. Times. MSG Co. fought vigorously to stop Inglewood and the L.A. Clippers from building what would be a competing arena just down the street from the MSG-owned Forum.

The move to dismiss the suits is more of a formality than anything — the war over the arena was effectively settled late in March when Clippers owner Steve Ballmer bought the Forum for $400 million in cash.

That price is almost 20 times the $23.5 million that MSG Co. paid for the Forum in 2012, but it headed off years of costly litigation and paved the road for the Clippers’ proposed $1 billion arena.

MSG Co. first sued the city over the proposed arena in July of 2017, just a month after Inglewood officials announced that it signed an agreement to explore building the Clippers stadium on a vacant lot on Century Boulevard.

Earlier that year, MSG Co. waived its rights to the parcel and the city agreed it wouldn’t be used for anything that would negatively impact the Forum’s business. The company accused the city of misleading them into giving up the parcel to bring in the Clippers.

MSG Co. went on to sue various Inglewood city agencies, the state of California, and according to court filings also paid legal fees for two community groups who sued the city over the arena. [LAT]Dennis Lynch


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