The city of Inglewood hosted a scoping meeting on the proposed Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center March 12 – a key milestone in the environmental review process to decide whether the LA Clippers should be allowed to build a new arena and corporate headquarters in Inglewood.
An estimated 150 people attended the evening session to tell city officials what issues – from traffic congestion to air quality – they would like studied in the environmental impact report. The report is expected to take at least 18 months to complete.
“The purpose of this meeting was to hear from the community about the issues they would like studied in our environmental review,” said Chris Meany of Wilson Meany, which is leading the development on behalf of the LA Clippers. “We were pleased to see such a robust showing and look forward to continuing to communicate with the residents of Inglewood about this project.”
The project proposed by the NBA team would include a state-of-the-art basketball arena with 18,000 seats at the corner of Century Boulevard and Prairie Avenue. The team’s ownership would also move its headquarters and training facility, both currently located in Los Angeles, to the project site.
The campus would include a 25,000-square-foot sports medicine clinic for the team, retail space for a team store and restaurant, and a 260,000-square-foot outdoor plaza with landscaped areas and outdoor basketball courts, according to the Notice of Preparation issued by the city.
If the Clippers ultimately make the move to Inglewood, their neighbors will be the Rams and Chargers with their 70,000-seat open-air stadium that is currently under construction at Hollywood Park. It’s been an amazing transformation for the city of Inglewood, said Mayor James Butts.
“We feel that local people should share in this tide of wealth that is coming to Inglewood,” Butts told the Los Angeles Sentinel last September. “We are very proud; we are now an economic center that is going to bring economic prosperity, not only to Inglewood, but also to South Bay and the Greater Los Angeles region. We have become an emerging economic center for the state.”
The Inglewood City Council voted last June to enter into a three-year exclusive negotiating agreement with the LA Clippers. Under the agreement, the NBA team will develop the details on how it would construct and operate an arena in Inglewood, while city officials conduct an environmental review and determine whether it is in the city’s best interest to welcome another professional sports team to Inglewood.
During the negotiation process, the L.A. Clippers will propose the specific site boundaries and uses of the proposed development. The city of Inglewood, in turn, will analyze the various impacts that the proposed development might have on the community. The arena project is expected to generate substantial new tax revenue for Inglewood schools, parks, libraries, and police and fire services.
The LA Clippers currently play at STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles. The team’s lease will end with the 2024 basketball season. The team shares its space with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings, both of which left Inglewood and the historic Forum in 1999.
The new arena would be privately funded.
The LA Clippers say they are planning to continue a massive outreach campaign to educate residents on the project and listen to their concerns and their hopes for the development.