Ballmer's Purchase Of The Forum Paves Way For Inglewood Arena
Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer has "agreed to purchase" the Forum from MSG Co. for $400M in cash through a newly formed entity, CAPSS LLC, according to Andrew Greif of the L.A. TIMES. The deal is "expected to close" during Q2. The new ownership group has "no plans to tear down the Forum" and will "keep it operating as a concert venue." Critically for Ballmer and the Clippers, the agreement also will "remove an opponent that had long sought to block the construction of Ballmer’s proposed, privately funded arena by resolving all litigation with MSG." The Clippers’ billion-dollar arena "would sit less than two miles away from the Forum on West Century Boulevard, and be part of a larger Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Complex that would house team offices, a practice facility and public outdoor spaces" (L.A. TIMES, 3/25). In L.A., Jason Henry notes the new ownership of the Forum will "alleviate potential traffic congestion in the corridor by allowing the two venues to coordinate programming." An environmental impact report estimated that a "simultaneous concert at the Forum and a basketball game at the arena could impact 61 intersections and eight freeway segments." The arena is "expected to contribute to a 'significant and unavoidable' increase in traffic, noise and pollutants" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 3/25).
FINALLY OVER: In DC, Ben Golliver notes rather than "wait for the legal process to unfold," Ballmer paid to make his legal problems with MSG Exec Chair & CEO James Dolan "go away" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/25). ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk noted MSG was "embroiled in a legal battle with the city of Inglewood and Ballmer over building the new arena in close proximity to the Forum." Dolan alleged that the city of Inglewood "violated an agreement not to allow competition to the Forum in such close proximity by working with the Clippers on a new arena." MSG also argued that the city "deceived MSG by convincing it to cede nearby land for the development of a technology park that was ultimately sold to Ballmer." There were several lawsuits, including two by community groups, "attempting to block the construction of the arena" (ESPN.com, 3/24).