Clippers make official purchase of Forum, clearing way for new arena

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It’s official: The legendary home of the Showtime Lakers is about to be owned by the Clippers.

In a move that removes lawsuits and clears the way for a new home arena for the Clippers to be built nearby, Steve Ballmer formed CAPSS LLC, which has reached an agreement to purchase the Forum from the Madison Square Garden group for $400 million.

The Forum will remain open as a concert venue, but the construction of a new 18,000-seat home for the Clippers will soon get underway.

“This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said in a statement. “We are committed to our investment in the City of Inglewood, which will be good for the community, the Clippers, and our fans.”

The new owners are spinning the idea that having the Forum and the new Clippers arena — which are both near the nearly-completed new home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers — under the same management can help them mitigate traffic issues in the area.

“We know traffic is something that many Inglewood residents worry about. While we have gone to great lengths to provide an unprecedented traffic-management plan for the new basketball arena, this acquisition provides a much greater ability to coordinate and avoid scheduling events at the same time at both venues,” said Chris Meany, a principal of Wilson Meany, the developer overseeing the new basketball arena project.

The Fabulous Forum was home for the Lakers from 1967 through 1999, when the team moved to the newly-built Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Ballmer has wanted to move the Clippers out of being the third tenant at Staples Center (the Los Angeles Kings parent company, AEG, owns the building) and into their own building. That’s about to become a reality.