The final steel beam is being raised to be installed into the roof of the Inuit Dome (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

The Intuit Dome, the new arena of the Los Angeles Clippers, reached their biggest construction milestone yet. Clippers players along with Intuit Dome staff and distinguished guests watched as the final steel beam was installed.

Inglewood mayor James Butts expressed his appreciation to Clippers chairman Steve Ballmer and president of business operations Gillian Zucker for bringing pro basketball back to Inglewood.

Inglewood Mayor James Butts (center) and Clippers players watch as the final steel beam in the Intuit Dome gets installed (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

“With the Clippers here, with an owner like Steve Ballmer that has not only committed to building the most magnificent arena, but he put together a $100 million community benefits package for the city,” Butts said. “Now that’s an investment, that’s someone that’s gonna be here for a generation.”

The construction is still on track for the Intuit Dome to be completed by 2024. Of the 3000 workers to help build the Intuit Dome, 73 percent are people of color. So far, around $10 million in wages have gone to workers from the Inglewood area and neighborhoods nearby. Through the construction project, $40 million has been awarded to registered women, minority, and disadvantaged businesses, according to Zucker.

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“What these steel workers do is nothing short of extraordinary,” Zucker said. “Seeing the last piece go in just reminds you of all the hard work that thousands and thousands of people that have been a part of putting Intuit Dome together and building it, we’re really proud that they represent so much of the community.”

(L-R) Michael Agodoa Project Manager AECOM, Ken Billups, Christine Robert Project Manager, Gerard McCallum Special Project Manager, Royce Jones Special Council Inglewood, Oldest Riely Housing Commission, Christopher Jackson Economic Development Inglewood and Juresha Alemayehu Director of Interiors. (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

Turner-AECOM Hunt director of Interiors Juresha Alemayehu is also a district two resident. While she was studying engineering at Florida A&M University (FAMU), she dreamed of building in her neighborhood.

“I did the infrastructure for SoFi Stadium and I was on that project from the beginning all the way to the end,” Alemayehu said. “All of that helped to build my resume up and build my skills for this project here.”

Clippers players, Intuit Dome workers, and fans were able to sign the final steel beam (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

Turner-AECOM director of community engagement director Ken Billups was raised in north Inglewood and currently lives there with his wife and two daughters. Also an alum of FAMU, he has worked on projects at the LACMA Museum, LAX, and the Long Beach Civic Center.”

“This is a dream project, being from the community,” Billups said. “And now my role is to make sure that the community is involved with this mega project, it means everything. This would be not only a legacy for Inglewood but a legacy for me and my family.”

Center Court of the Intuit Dome (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

The Intuit Dome will have five basketball courts, including a court that is open for the community, 1160 toilets, and one acre of scoreboard. Ballmer explained more details about “The Wall,” which will be a section privy to Clippers fans.

“It’s 51 straight rows, steep as hell, only Clippers fans allowed,” Ballmer said. “4000 seats, standing-room-only  section in the middle.”

In July 2022, the steel and concrete frame of the Intuit Dome was completed. While the Intuit Dome is being built, the Clippers have given $100 million to Inglewood. Some of the funds is going into affordable housing, another portion is going to youth empowerment. They are also remolding the Inglewood library.

“The city has exploded in the last seven years,” Butts said. “We look forward to generations of Clippers basketball.”