Sources: Inglewood Voting On Deal For Clippers To Explore Building New Arena
The Inglewood City Council will vote today on an "exclusive negotiating agreement for a Clippers-controlled company to build an arena for the team," according to Nathan Fenno of the L.A. TIMES. The 22 acres for the arena are "across the street from the 298-acre site where Rams owner Stan Kroenke is building the stadium as part of a sprawling mixed-use development." A source said that the Rams "aren't involved in the Clippers' arena project ... though representatives of Kroenke and the Clippers had multiple discussions about the team joining the Rams’ project." The agreement between the Clippers-controlled company, Murphy’s Bowl LLC, and Inglewood "will run for 36 months with the option for a single six-month extension." That gives the team "time to complete lengthy environmental reviews." The city will "receive a nonrefundable deposit" of $1.5M to "defray costs associated with the effort." Meanwhile, two sources said that the Clippers and AEG, which owns Staples Center, "continue to renegotiate the deal for the team to remain in the arena." The Clippers "have a lease to play in Staples Center" through '24, but Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer "hasn’t hidden his desire for a new arena since purchasing the team" for $2B in '14. A source said that Ballmer "would pay for the entire project in Inglewood." Fenno notes the agreement "doesn’t disclose how much the Clippers would pay Inglewood for their land" (L.A. TIMES, 6/15). ESPN.com's Arash Markazi cited sources as saying that Ballmer "became agitated" with the Clippers' Staples Center arrangement "fairly early in his ownership." AEG owns the Kings and a piece of the Lakers, and the Clippers are "effectively third in the pecking order when it comes to scheduling priority and need approval for anything they would want to do in the arena physically or cosmetically" (ESPN.com, 6/14).