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Clippers Owner Will Buy The Forum For New Arena, Reports Say

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is reportedly buying The Forum to pave the way for the building of a new basketball arena.

After a year of being embroiled in lawsuits filed by the Madison Square Garden Co., which owns the NBA's New York Knicks, NHL's New York Rangers and The Forum in Inglewood, Ballmer is reportedly cutting out his competition.

The Forum, Inglewood, CA
The Forum in Inglewood

According to several reports, Ballmer is in "advanced negotiations" to acquire the entertainment venue, which sits on a 29-acre lot on 3900 West Manchester Blvd., a little more than a mile north of his proposed $1.1B mixed-use development, which will be anchored by an 18,500-seat basketball arena.

A spokesman for MSG declined to comment on the report to Bisnow.

Ballmer told ESPN in a statement that the team is focused on building the new arena and working with MSG to resolve the lawsuits. "We are examining every possible way to resolve our differences with Madison Square Garden Co. regarding our new arena," the statement read.

In the past several years, MSG, The Clippers and the city of Inglewood have been entangled in a web of lawsuits surrounding the building of the Clippers' development.

MSG had an agreement with the city to use the 22-acre vacant land, where the Clippers have proposed to build the arena, as overflow parking for the Forum. The Forum, which underwent a $100M renovation in 2014, does not host a sports team and is mostly known as an entertainment venue that hosts concerts and boxing matches. 

MSG had claimed the Inglewood mayor tricked them into terminating its lease agreement, which opened up a development agreement between the city and the Clippers to build their mixed-use project. Murphy's Bowl, a Clippers entity, then countersued MSG to push its agreement with the city forward.

Last month, MSG filed another lawsuit, this time against California's Joint Legislative Budget Committee, which would accelerate Ballmer's proposed development, according to ESPN.

LA Clippers
Rendering of LA Clippers' planned arena and entertainment complex in Inglewood, Calif.

Ballmer's proposed Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center is currently undergoing the environmental review process. If built, the development will house the Clippers' entire basketball operations.

The current plan features a 200K SF basketball arena, a 55K SF corporate office building, a 25K SF sports medicine clinic, 40K SF of retail, and community and youth-oriented space plus parking, according to city documents. The area will also have a landscaped area and outdoor plaza with basketball courts and community gathering spaces. Additionally, there is a proposal to build a hotel, parking and pedestrian bridge on an adjacent lot.

Ballmer, who once served as the CEO of Microsoft and is one of the world's wealthiest people, will reportedly finance the entire development privately.

Wilson Meany is slated to develop the project and AECOM will build the basketball arena.