Clippers owners Steve Ballmer today completed the purchase of the Forum in Inglewood as the team continues its effort to build an arena nearby that will allow it to move out of Staples Center.
The famed Inglewood venue was purchased from Madison Square Garden Co. by a newly created company called CAPSS LLC, a joint venture of Ballmer and Clippers Vice Chairman Dennis Wong. The Forum will continue to operate primarily as a music venue, with most employees keeping their jobs, according to the company.
“We are excited the welcome The Forum to our family,” Gillian Zucker, president of business operations for the Clippers, said in a statement.
“The talented team at The Forum has created a world-class live entertainment venue, and we are committed to building upon that reputation. Having The Forum just a short distance from the L.A. Clippers’ new arena will give us the opportunity to provide the city of Inglewood with a number of benefits, including a collaborative approach to managing traffic and community activities.”
The Forum will be managed by the newly created Forum Entertainment LLC.
Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) released the following statement regarding the finalization of the Clippers organization completing the $400 million purchase of The Forum from Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation (MSG).
“I applaud Mr. Ballmer and the LA Clippers organization on their recent purchase of The Forum from the Madison Square Garden Company,” said Senator Bradford. “When I authored SB 789 and coauthored AB 987, the idea of creating an economic revitalization and bringing desperately needed jobs to the City of Inglewood was a dream. That dream is now closer to becoming reality for the residents of Inglewood, who welcome the Clippers with open arms and will benefit from this partnership for decades to come.”
The Senator’s response comes after the ownership of the forum has officially changed. The Clippers had announced their intention to build a new arena more than three years ago, but MSG opposed the construction vigorously in court. MSG executive chairman, and Knicks owner, James Dolan lead multiple lawsuits against the arena project in order to delay their competitor, effectively forcing Mr. Ballmer to purchase a space not far from where he originally intended. MSG had two additional lawsuits pending in relation to the arena, deposing dozens of key figures from the Clippers, MSG and Inglewood. The Entertainment Corporation even went so far as to pay the legal fees for a community group that also filed a suit. In contrast, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer announced in 2019 that he would be investing $100 million toward the surrounding community. Of the $100 million, $80 million is designated to affordable housing, renters’ assistance and first-time homebuyers. The remaining portions will go toward school and youth programs among other community benefits.
Senator Bradford has been a powerful voice when it comes to the economic development of the City of Inglewood and the construction of the new Clippers arena. In 2017, he authored SB 789 in order to streamline the revitalization project, which would have created over 3,000 permanent jobs. In addition, he co-authored a measure introduced by Assemblymember Kamlager, AB 987, which continued his work to provide bureaucratic relief equivalent to what was granted to the new Sacramento Kings arena and the new Golden State Warriors arena in San Francisco. AB 987 was signed by Governor Brown in 2018.
Now with the legal conflicts behind them, the Clippers predict construction will finally begin on their new arena by the middle of next year, bringing with them entertainment, jobs, and affordable housing.