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Clippers Break Ground On $1.8B Inglewood Arena, Announce $500M Naming Rights Deal

A rendering of the AECOM-designed Clippers arena

The Los Angeles Clippers broke ground Friday on the newly christened Intuit Dome in Inglewood, less than a half-mile from the most expensive NFL stadium built to date. The privately financed $1.8B sports venue will host the Clippers beginning in the 2024-2025 season.

Intuit, the producer of tax software TurboTax, paid $500M for a 23-year naming rights deal at the future arena, CNBC reported. Designed by AECOM, the arena would hold 18,000 fans. The project includes the construction of an 80K SF outdoor plaza with bars, restaurants and a Clippers team store. 

The venue itself will be anchored by a steel frame that is meant to evoke a basketball net at the moment a ball moves through it, AECOM said. The design will capitalize on Southern California’s mild weather, allowing for an indoor-outdoor facility that will use natural ventilation in the entrance area and on the upper concourse of the venue. The building’s shell will be solar-optimized to balance natural light and solar heat gain.

The arena will also include a 44K SF LED halo-shaped video board that will show replays, videos and stats during games without blocking sightlines. The space was designed to accommodate the halo, the team said. 

“We want to build a home that is of our own, that sets a standard for us,” Clippers owner Steve Ballmer told the Los Angeles Times. “We don’t play in anybody’s shadow.”

The road to groundbreaking wasn't easy for the team behind the Clippers arena. A lawsuit by a group called Uplift Inglewood questioned whether the property should have been offered to developers of affordable housing before it was made available to the Clippers. A former senator got involved

But MSG Sports, then called the Madison Square Garden Co. and the owner of the Inglewood entertainment venue The Forum, was perhaps the most prominent opponent of the arena and threw a number of legal hurdles in its path. MSG had an agreement with the city of Inglewood to use the land where the arena is rising for overflow parking for the Forum. MSG claimed the Inglewood mayor tricked them into ending the lease agreement for that property, which then became available for the Clippers' project.

MSG sued the city and the Clippers over various aspects of the stadium project, including the state approval that allowed the project to speed up the timeline during which appeals and legal challenges to the arena’s environmental impact analysis could take place. A Clippers-controlled LLC called Murphy's Bowl launched its own lawsuit aimed at moving the project forward. 

Ultimately, Ballmer and an entity controlled by team leadership bought the Forum, paying $400M cash in March 2020. The sale eliminated the final hurdle to the arena’s construction, the team said in a statement at the time of the sale. 

The Clippers' new home is expected to be ready right around the time the team's lease at the Staples Center in Downtown LA expires in 2024.