Ballmer In Advanced Talks To Buy Forum In Inglewood

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is in advanced negotiations to purchase The Forum in Inglewood, California from its current owner, the Madison Square Garden Company, sources tell ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz.

The Forum, the former home of the Lakers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, is no longer the home arena for any professional sports teams, but continues to host major sporting events and concerts. With the Clippers looking to open a brand-new arena of their own in Inglewood once their current agreement with the Staples Center expires, the presence of The Forum has represented a major roadblock.

Ballmer wants to build the Clippers’ new arena on a parcel of land that sits approximately a mile from the Forum, as Arnovitz notes. The Clippers owner and the city of Inglewood have been engaged in a lengthy legal battle with James Dolan‘s MSG Co. for the last year or two. MSG has taken exception to the city working with the Clippers to develop a new, nearby arena that would be a major competitor for The Forum.

Sources tell ESPN that the two sides began to engage in negotiations about a sale of The Forum following the most recent round of lawsuits by MSG and community groups bankrolled in part by MSG. Arnovitz suggests that a sale looks like the “path of least resistance” when it comes to finding a resolution to the stalemate.

If it’s sold, The Forum would continue to operate until the Clippers’ new arena is ready to open, and perhaps even beyond that, per ESPN. Although sources tell Arnovitz that an agreement is “imminent,” the Clippers wouldn’t confirm or deny the report.

“The Clippers continue to pursue plans to build a state-of-the-art, 18,000-seat basketball arena and entertainment complex in Inglewood and are currently working with the city to successfully complete the comprehensive Environmental Impact Report,” the team said in a statement. “We are examining every possible way to resolve our differences with Madison Square Garden Co. regarding our new arena.”

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32 thoughts on “Ballmer In Advanced Talks To Buy Forum In Inglewood

    • Senioreditor

      I beg to differ, LA would love to keep the Clippers and this is a significant coup for Inglewood. Once Ballmer secures the Forum AND invests more than a billion in Inglewood developing a new arena he’ll then tear down the forum and develop that area. All that is extremely significant to any city especially a city the size of Inglewood. The Clippers having their own home, an owner with unlimited cash and what will undoubtedly be the finest arena in the NBA, should worry all Laker fans.


        Why worry laker fans? LA is and will always be a Lakers town.. clippers moving to Inglewood once again puts them in the shadows of lakers.. Inglewood is where the lakers won 6 titles..clippers should move to Seattle. That fan base deserves an nba team..

      • amk3510

        The Angels and Ducks have their own stadiums and that doesn’t stop them from not being little brother. Clippers are the ultimate little brother and will never worry Laker fans in that way.

      • implant

        The eventual loss of the Forum will sting, it’s the best indoor concert venue in LA. That being said the Clips should move to Seattle. They deserve a city of their own. they can win multiple titles and the hearts of the city will still be with the Lakers. Is what it is.

        • the sterling don

          If you owned a (now) successful professional sports team in LA, please explain why you would move to Seattle?

          Why Laker fans are so afraid of the local competition is shocking to me.
          Clipper fans care about rooting for their team and not this shadow laker fans constantly bring up. The Lakers are one of the most storied and respected franchises in sports history. Every team in the league aside from the Celtics is in their shadow. Thanks to the Clippers becoming a respectable local franchise, the Lakers strived and have become good again. Having the competition should be a thing that’s desired.

      • MrWood

        So he’s gonna help white wash Inglewood

        Well yes, that’s been the plan the entire time, but cute words like ‘reinvest’ and ‘developing’ will be used. Inglewood will be white washed, it’s going to be turned into a glitzy southern DTLA with Rams down street, $750k-2M 1-2bed ‘condos’ or “luxury” apartments… no more space in PVE, Redondo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa, El Segundo… for all the wannabe fake $$$ makers, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Gardena will be the next gentrified cities in So Cal.

        • JD Candello

          Spoken from someone who probably has never been to Inglewood Mr Wood-

          We Welcome any money you bring to the city Steve


          Laker Fan

        • MrWood

          Actually they aren’t 1st world problems. It’s actually people of color (funny considering the Clips roster is nearly all ppl of color) will be pushed out because they no longer can love in their current NHs bc the next wave of beach community crowd will and can afford to pay $3000 a month for a studio apartment.

          A 1st world problem in this instance would be multi billionaire Ballmer having to get rid of 30,000 low income residents to make way for his next 20 billion in profits.

          • JD Candello

            I was assuming you were race baiting all along……

            How much Revenue will that produce for the city of Inglewood ? 100 200 300 mill per year extra???……..

            That goes directly into schools roads etc for everyone of the City of Inglewood…. but hey lets ignore that right?

            • MrWood

              You mean it’ll go into the hands of Inglewood… yes, but you’re not focusing on who gets the $$$&. If all the current residents can’t afford to live there, who’s replacing them? The richer folks, you’re not helping the kids who need help in Inglewood. Those kids are gone because their parents couldn’t afford the COL increase. So all that ‘new found’ money goes directly into the schools to help the kids who already are not needing it.

              And Roads… ha, okay, this is LA, like do you think anyone is fixing the La Cienga 405 “off ramp” situation that flows thru Centinela… that traffic jam each and everyday is 33m to move 1mile. This is nothing more then the next gentrified city. Stop playing about taxes.

              • JD Candello

                Yes 1% of Inglewood will have to relocate (paid over fully btw) at about 110% to 125% all the costs ….

                The other 99% will enjoy the benefits and a beautiful new stadium and small business opportunities for their community

                This is not uncommon around the United States and has nothing to do with race –

                • MrWood

                  If you believe only 1% of Inglewood is affording a laughable 10% increase to 25% COL. then good luck. Inglewood has a +1.6% unemployment rate compared to US average… the average Inglewood resident makes around $9,000 less then the US average… that’s around 20k a year… over 12mo the avg citizen in Inglewood has $1,666 in disposable income… but hey bring on the 2k condos. Yup. Nailin it. You might wanna check in on Oakland before and after the Warriors became elite… how many 2010 Oakland residents are killing it in 2020? I’m talking born, raised, grew up in Oakland…

                  • JD Candello

                    There are a whole lot more opportunities for someone in Inglewood than a lot of the country-

                    You are literally at the footsteps of the music and movie Mecca and these said projects bring in many jobs

                    As someone born in the poorer side of L,A i find it laughable you talk about lack of opportunity here! You couldnt be farther from the Truth

                    Ive known many people from all walks of life find more success from being here than they ever would in Fargo Minnesota or Flint Michigan

                    I guess Harden said it best, first world/Calif problems but I have a feeling your just playing the race angle solely here newayz –

                    Do what you want Ballmer, your a great guy whoes given back plenty and unemployed thousands of families

                    • MrWood

                      Well JD, speaking as someone’s who’s buying land and waiting for this to hit, I wish you luck. With that said Inglewood is going to become El Segundo. The new minimum to buy a house will be minimum $1,000,000 for a 3-bedroom. They will get blown up and rebuilt and the next crop will be sold for $1.8m plus, if you feel that’s going to be sustainable for many in Inglewood to afford (250k down payment and 4,500a mth mort nut) then that’s your POV, speaking as a someone’s who’s lived from Long Beach, Hawthorne, Gardena, Torrance (north), that’s not a thing. Nobody is affording 250 up front and 4500 a month, but you believe they will. Inglewood is going to become white washed, fight it all you want, Clippers & Rams aren’t dropping 8+ billion into Inglewood to keep it the same. As I said good luck man, mean it. With that said it’s all changing and if you ain’t got 6-7,8,9 digits to invest you’re being brushed to the side for young, tech folks who can’t afford to buy into the MB, RB, ES, PVE, HB areas because housing is scarce and sells for 20% more than listing and not many have 250k just laying around but apparently you know a lot of them in Inglewood, the home of Truth, De’Angelo Collins, Reggie Theus, Baby Jordan, etc.. guess I just didn’t realize all the untapped wealth 3miles away.

                      • JD Candello

                        3 bedrooms for a mill is avg for about a 120 mile stretch on the 405……..this isnt breaking news

                        If your turning the argument into your getting a better bang for your buck buying land in Arizona or Utah well I cant argue with you there

                        • MrWood

                          I’m not. It’s nearly impossible but ask Matt Barnes about the drastic change in The Bay Area before and after Warriors got good. Oracle went from the crib to a uppity joke w/Sushi. The NH changed for the better but the men and women who grew up, lived for decades in the grind got out and all the rich folks cane in to buy the land for a 50% inflation cost and priced out everyone who isn’t driving a Tesla, Audi, Volvo, etc… Oakland pre and post addition of Warriors uptick doesn’t help the future, sure it helped the 1,000 families who cashed out but apartments doubled, business fronts increased exponentially and stupid ass big brand store fronts got those properties because they could afford 100+k a year in rent, don’t believe me ask Killer Mike or GOAT Shaun King. Inglewood will never be the same for 90% of its current residence when the Rams & Clippers are done.

        • Howie415

          You live in the 3rd world? I always thought Texas was backwards, but not that far.

  1. x%sure

    Just because Ballmer is going to waste many millions replacing the Forum, doesn’t mean he will be throwing money around for community development beyond what would sell with entertainment efforts regardless.
    This last message does not mention these popular community measures (albeit being only periphreal to the case).

    • Senioreditor

      It won’t be a waste and he’ll probably get an exponential return on his investment. He’s building a Clippers empire and the folks on here are naive if you see that. He’s hired the best advisers and has turned the worst franchise in professional sports into a perennial contender. LA is a Lakers Town and has been for a loooonnnng time but the Buss offspring are no match for Ballmer and he’s smarter and richer and far more connected. I’m a Lakers fan for half a century but there’s a new era beginning in LA and to dismiss it because “LA’s a Laker Town” is foolish.

      • amk3510

        LMAO is this is a joke?? So building a new arena makes you an empire haha. Ballmer can put up all the billboards he wants. LA is and will always be a Laker town. Owners trying to acquire land near their venues is nothing new. Go be a Clipper fan if you admire them so much. Clippers are no empire.

        • Senioreditor

          You’re foolish and really don’t understand how the game is played. Let’s meet back here in a few years and see who’s laughing. Dr. Buss was a genius, his offspring are NOT. I’d trade owners any day because once LeBron leaves it’s a whole new era in LA and Lakers fans will then sadly understand the ramifications of their erroneous ways. Oh and FYI, they’re not winning the West this season, the Clippers have far more secondary weapons to survive a 7 game series.

          • GABEPERKINS1

            all these bandwagon fans that jumped on the wagon when Chris paul threw his first lob to blake griffin.. clippers barely beat a 76ers team in la without Embiid, simmons, Richardson left game early.. too many me players on clippers.. only one ball to go around.. talent alone doesn’t win championships.. clippers have 1 player of the 15 that has championship experience.. lakers have 6.. guys that have won.. clippers better figure it out because pg and kawai can opt out next year..clippers can beat lakers every season game but I’ll take lebron all day when my team needs to win a title.. kawai is the same guy that quit on his spurs team when he was medically cleared to play..pg13 cheated on doc rivers daughter with his current baby mama.. seeing pg and Lou Williams go at eachother yesterday doesn’t show much for the team camraderie..Harrell and Morris will leave after this year..

          • amk3510

            This has absolutely nothing to do with how the game is played. The Clippers just had 6 years to take LA and they did not. The Clippers could beat them in a 7 game series and it wouldn’t be a Clipper town. You’re a fake Laker fan if you think a fancy new arena is taking over the town. Ballmer literally lied to and cast off the best homegrown player in their history but sure go off on how great he is and how much Jeannie sucks.


        11 championships in La say it’s a lakers town.. lakers aren’t pushovers financially.. they are worth second most in nba.. worth 4.4 billion..each buss kid worth 500 million. Anschutz 11.4 billion.. Roski 5.4 billion.. Soon-Shiong 6.9billion. They make 122 million year off tv contract.

      • Danieley3

        I’m assuming that even though Steve Balmer is the richest owner in the NBA, he’s having a TON of trouble getting the LA taxpayer money to be allotted for a brand new stadium for the Clippers. It doesn’t help being the team they’ve been historically — with the Lakers, Dodgers, USC Football, Angles, Kings — all having larger fanbases (maybe even the Galaxy & LAFC). California was already the toughest state to build new stadiums in because taxpayers would rather direct the ancillary money into paying ALL costs of illegal immigrants, paper straws to save a few sea turtles, along with thousands of other taxpayer funded regulations focused on “social issues”, rather than infrastructure or aiding in the expansion of various fields of business… But MOST important, is statistics over all new stadiums built in the past 25 years have proven to be a huge loss to the city in which they’re built. Another study proved that the average new stadium loses 45-55% of its luster and revenue begins to drop after only five years. So commonly heard is, “The new stadium in _______ is going to stimulate the local economy greatly”, which the stats have proven just isn’t the case… The companies tasked with everything from initially grading the land, creating the design/architecture of building the stadium and then building the stadium MIGHT be local businesses, but more often that not, they all come in from different areas of the country, taking their money earned with them after 2-3 years when the project’s complete, rather than putting that money back into the local area. Even when there are restaurants, retail stores, etc. included in the construction of the new stadium, those restaurants/retail stores don’t do well at all, they simply want their brand name to be seen by the many passerby’s and will take the loss to benefit them elsewhere. Those who work inside the stadium; ticket takers, concessions, security, apparel shops, etc. are the only ones putting their earned money back into the area around the new stadium. And the BIGGEST earners in the new stadium — the athletes — 85-90% of the time live elsewhere during the off-season, taking ALL of that money with them, out of the community that paid to build the stadium they play in. Meanwhile, the team owners, who had their new cash cow stadiums partially, sometimes entirely, subsidized by the taxpayer are ALSO netting hundreds of millions annually via ticket sales, merchandise, TV deals and never giving that revenue back, or anything, to the taxpayer, other than saying, “Come watch my team play. And pay me a bundle while doing so”.

        So sadly enough, Steve Balmer has been pushed to his near apparent purchase of The Forum. The Clippers, ATTEMPTING to get out from under the giant Lakers shadow, only to make their new home in a building the Lakers won so many championships and housed one of the greatest teams in NBA history during “The Showtime” years, would be pretty comical.

        Will Steve Balmer PROVE he’s being honest about his willingness to do anything to produce a winner by ponying up his own money to build a new stadium? The answer is NO — he is a business man before he’s an NBA owner — and an investment that big is no where near smart business… What do I think Balmer will do? Prostitute the Clippers to cities like Seattle, Las Vegas, Nashville, etc. trying to get those local governments to help build a new stadium with the allure of having a Pro Sports Franchise very enticing to the other cities. At that point, he can go back to Los Angeles to try and create a bidding war for the franchise… And as I wrote before, this is the LA Clippers; possibly 5th or 6th in the city’s Sports Hierarchy. Losing them wouldn’t be much of a loss whatsoever.

        I’ll be extremely surprised, and really question how, if the Clippers get a brand new, state of the art stadium built in Los Angeles.

  2. Jason Lancaster

    It’s INSANE that the NBA allows Jimmy Dolan to a) run the Knicks into the ground while b) limiting the growth and revenue potential of the Clippers.

    It’s like the NBA said “Hey Jimmy! Can you hurt our finances in *both* our largest markets?”

    If Donald Sterling was still in charge of the NBA, I can’t imagine this would be tolerated.

    • x%sure

      The Ballmer plan would be VERY popular with Donald Sterling, nevermind its income potential.

      Commercial real estate developers are not known for paying for things a government could do at its own expense, even if generosity promises were made to get the votes necessary to proceed.
      There’s never enough money left after the inevitable cost overruns.

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