Ballmer gets his wish; Clippers owner buys The Forum

Steve Ballmer and the Los Angeles Clippers made a move to officially move out any last remaining obstacles in their bid to build a new state-of-the-art arena within close proximity of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
Ballmer, the Clippers owner and chairman, went through a pathway to buy The Forum from The Madison Square Garden Company for a grip of cash, clearing the way for his franchise to ultimately leave the confines of STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles to the area where the Los Angeles Lakers once lit up.
The Forum will continue to operate as a music venue, while plans for the construction of the Clippers’ privately-financed, fan-focused NBA arena, team headquarters and transformative community project move forward. The move by Ballmer and CAPSS LLC is yet the latest chapter of developments the Clippers owner has made to make the franchise a well-branded and viable commodity in the SoCal community as well as to the NBA universe.
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Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers after former owner Donald Sterling was ousted from the NBA for making racist comments. Photo Credit: Jevone Moore/ Full Image 360

CAPSS LLC has reached an agreement with The Madison Square Garden Company (NYSE: MSG) to purchase The Forum in Inglewood, which will continue to operate as one of the premier live-music venues in the United States. The formation of CAPSS LLC and the acquisition of the Forum were driven by Ballmer and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong.

By reaching an agreement with MSG, CAPSS LLC will acquire the Inglewood venue, simultaneously resolving litigation surrounding plans for the new NBA arena. As part of the agreement, all of MSG’s current Forum employees will be extended employment offers by the new owner.

This transaction, which remains subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close during the second calendar quarter of 2020. CAPSS LLC is purchasing The Forum for $400 million in cash.

The new Clippers arena project would be a privately financed, state-of-the-art, 18,000-seat basketball arena, team headquarters complex and community center located on West Century Boulevard between South Prairie Avenue and South Yukon Avenue. The project is currently undergoing an environmental review by the City of Inglewood. Public hearings to approve the project are expected to be held later this summer.

“This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” said Ballmer. “We are committed to our investment in the City of Inglewood, which will be good for the community, the Clippers, and our fans.”

Having The Forum and the new Clippers arena under the same ownership will allow for coordinated programming between the two venues, improving traffic congestion around basketball games and concerts.

“We know traffic is something that many Inglewood residents worry about. While we have gone to great lengths to provide an unprecedented traffic-management plan for the new basketball arena, this acquisition provides a much greater ability to coordinate and avoid scheduling events at the same time at both venues,” said Chris Meany, a principal of Wilson Meany, the developer overseeing the new basketball arena project.

The Clippers’ new arena will create an estimated 7,500 high-paying construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs once the complex is open. In addition to the economic and civic benefits, the Clippers have proposed a $100 million package of community benefits.

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