Ballmer Confident In Clippers' Arena Plans Despite MSG's Opposition
Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer "reiterated that legal opposition" backed by MSG Co. Exec Chair & CEO James Dolan will "not deter his efforts to build the Clippers a new arena in Inglewood," according to Andrew Greif of the L.A. TIMES. MSG owns and operates the Forum, which "sits less than a mile from the site of the proposed Clippers arena complex and has brought lawsuits seeking to block its construction." Ballmer said, "We’re on a path where we think we can build the arena, whatever happens in the litigation. We’re moving along. Certainly, suffice it to say, I think the other side is just trying to slow us down a little bit." He added, "You want to hit us in the nose? OK! We’ll keep moving. You can’t knock us down." Greif notes as litigation continues, the Clippers have "continued efforts to build support within Inglewood." A “community benefits package” valued by the team at $100M was "proposed to city officials last month." The Clippers said that it "represents the largest benefit plan connected to the construction or renovation of a stadium or entertainment venue in the state." Arena backers said that construction "must begin" by mid-'21 for the arena to "open on time" before the '24-25 season (L.A. TIMES, 10/4). ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk notes Ballmer "acknowledges that the litigation has added to an awkward situation" with Dolan, who also owns the Knicks. Ballmer: "My partner in the NBA! It's a weird form of partnership" (ESPN.com, 10/4).