For more than 30 years, from 1967 through 1999, the Fabulous Forum was home to the Los Angeles Lakers. It was synonymous with Showtime and the on-and-off-the-court party that was the 1980s Lakers.
The Clippers now own the Forum.
Which clears the way for Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer to build a new arena and home for his team just down the street.
This had been in the works since March. The sale of the Forum from Madison Square Garden Entertainment (owned by the Knicks’ James Dolan) to CAPSS LLC — owned by Ballmer — for $400 million was finalized on Monday. The newly-created Forum Entertainment LLC will operate The Forum, with that company reporting to Gillian Zucker, Clippers President of Business Operations.
“We are excited to welcome The Forum to our family. 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 two buildings sit on either side of the new football home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers. That’s potentially a lot of cars, which has raised traffic concerns from area residents.
Not enough concerns to stop the construction of the new Clippers home. The project timeline is to continue with the approval process this season, break ground in 2021, and have the Clippers playing home games there in 2024.
Ballmer has been eager to move the Clippers out of Staples Center, where they are the third tenant (the Los Angeles Kings parent company, AEG, owns the building). Staples Center, much like the Forum, is viewed in Los Angeles as a Laker building.
Which is why Ballmer wants his team in their own place.