The Clippers issued a press release today announcing that CAPSS LLC – a recently-formed company backed by team owner Steve Ballmer – has completed its purchase of The Forum in Inglewood, California. The venue was previously owned by the Madison Square Garden Company.
The sale agreement was initially reported in March, when the two sides reached a deal for Ballmer’s group to buy The Forum for $400MM in cash. MSG Co. – controlled by Knicks owner James Dolan – had previously been engaged in a legal battle with Ballmer and the Clippers, who are trying to build a new arena in Inglewood.
The sale of The Forum will help end that litigation, paving the way for the Clippers to move forward on their new building. The Forum, meanwhile, will continue to operate as a live entertainment venue. The Forum’s existing leadership team of Geni Lincoln and Mike Fallon will now report to Gillian Zucker, the Clippers’ president of business operations, according to today’s announcement.
“The talented team at The Forum has created a world-class live entertainment venue, and we are committed to building upon that reputation,” Zucker said in a statement. “Having The Forum just a short distance from the L.A. Clippers’ new arena will give us the opportunity to provide the City of Inglewood with a number of benefits, including a collaborative approach to managing traffic and community activities.”
The Clippers are locked into their Staples Center lease through 2024, but Ballmer has long prioritized the idea of the team moving into a building of its own. The franchise will now be able to move forward on plans to build a state-of-the-art, 18,000-seat arena in Inglewood.
Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN reported in March that the Clippers’ proposal was undergoing an environmental review by Inglewood, with public hearings to approve the project expected to be held in the summer. It’s not clear whether the coronavirus pandemic has changed that timeline at all.