Workers in front of the Intuit Dome structure, “The Wall.” (Keith L. Underwood/L.A. Sentinel)

Over 650 workers poured their hearts, and souls into the steel and concrete frame of the Los Angeles Clippers’ Intuit Dome, which is currently under construction in Inglewood.  On July 21, Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer invited media out to the site to celebrate completion of this stage of construction.

“It is nothing short of amazing how much progress they’ve made in a year on the Dome,” said Ballmer from the event podium.  “The first steel had to be in by June 15, 2022, and the first steel was in by June 15, 2022.”

The steel and concrete frame are the foundation leading to “The Wall,” a part of the arena Ballmer likens to a “student section” at a college game.  His expectation is to activate that type of energy and enthusiasm during games.

View from the plaza level looking down to what will be center court. (Keith L. Underwood/L.A. Sentinel)

Construction on the Dome is a daily collaboration with all trade partners including the Los Angeles Clippers and the financial software company Intuit.  Danielle Roark, Intuit’s director of sponsorships, also attended the event.

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But the sweat of the construction workers, who were active during the event in the background, is the fuel driving this venture to completion.

“All of this is preplanned, making sure everything is done safely for the 350 workers who fluctuate per day,” said one of the safety leaders on the project.  “All the proud hardworking people here today are union workers, and they’ve spent the last few months making the Clippers dream a reality.”

Clippers and Intuit Trade Partners making their way to the podium. (Keith L. Underwood/L.A. Sentinel)

After 20 years of sharing the Staples Center with the Lakers in downtown Los Angeles, the Clippers new dream arena in Inglewood will feature a practice facility, sports medicine clinic, team offices, retail space, and a large outdoor plaza with basketball courts open to the public. The plaza will be at the street level.

The court and club will encompass the level below the plaza, while vending machines and bathrooms will be located throughout the facility.  The west end of the dome will house the Clippers offices and the practice facility.  Some space will also be set aside for retail vendors.

Ballmer and his other trade partners cemented their marks in concrete on the floor of the plaza, overlooking the court level.  Looking down over a makeshift railing to the basketball court, a large sign displaying the Clippers logo marked the exact location of center court.

Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer speaking at the milestone event. (Keith L. Underwood/L.A. Sentinel)

Ballmer touted the Dome’s oval scoreboard, like the ones normally seen in football, as the first of its kind for a basketball arena.

He also described the atmosphere planned for the arena.  “We want the fans to feel the comfort and convenience of home, but we also want you to be able to smell the leather of the ball as it’s moving around the court,” Ballmer said.  “We want people out there cheering and supporting, being part of making our team a winning team!”

Ballmer also assured attendees that all of the trade partners are good citizens that work directly with the city and environmental authorities on each phase of the project.

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts from the podium at the event. (Keith L. Underwood/L.A. Sentinel)

One of the other key partners in attendance at the event was Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts.

“We are so happy to have Steve Ballmer here in Inglewood,” said Butts.  “He is so fired up and has great energy! Not only are they [L.A. Clippers] cementing us as the sports entertainment capital of California, but it also makes this the biggest [public/private] partnership in Southern California.”

Butts said he’s looking forward to the day the 18,000-seat arena is complete.  He said he plans to be there for opening day, “no matter how much the tickets cost.”

The anticipated completion date of the Los Angeles Clippers Intuit Dome is sometime in 2024.