The Los Angeles Clippers currently share the Staples Center with their crosstown rivals Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. The Clippers signed a lease to call Staples Center home in the year 1999.
However, things are about to change as the Clippers owner, Steve Ballmer, has plans to begin a new chapter for the franchise. The design meetings, creating numerous blueprints, are finally coming to fruition.
The Los Angeles Clippers Are on the Move
To be fair the Clippers have constructed a legitimate contender for many years to come. However, the franchise has always been overshadowed by the Lakers’ success. Ballmer was initially content with playing in the Staples Center when he bought the team for $2 billion back in 2014, but relocating to a new arena could help the franchise expand its brand.
Through the years until this moment, the project was known by different names which included
the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center and Murphy’s Bowl.
This is a great approach as the team has spent years trying to build its own identity. Even with the pandemic, the team got the naming rights for the arena last Friday. The Clippers were very fortunate as SoFi Stadium dealt with a delay in opening to the public due to inclement weather.
The Clippers and Lakers are the only teams that share an arena. Ballmer stated, “I’ve never been in a place where you had two teams in a town… I grew up in Detroit. Everybody’s a Pistons fan. And I think for enough years the Clippers were bad enough, everybody could just ignore the Clippers.”
The Inuit Dome also is scheduled to open its doors on schedule for the 2004-25 season. The price tag for the new location is similar to what Ballmer paid to take ownership of the Clippers which came out to be $1.8 billion.
The practice facility, team offices where the team will conduct both business and basketball operations, retail space, and other matters involving the team will all be on the site. The chairman believes this move will bring more success on and off the court.
What Can the Fans Expect when Entering the Arena
The arena will be able to seat 18,000 people during a game which is very similar to the capacity in the Staples Center. As the former chief executive at Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, has stated that the building will be like no other with all the technological advancements that will be on full display for the fans attending the games or other venues that will take place there.
There will be a two-sided, oval-shaped scoreboard with 44,000 square feet of LED lights that will hover the court, which is about six times bigger than the other scoreboards across the league.
Fans will also be able to avoid long concession lines with the smart technology that will be implemented similar to Amazon and some sports teams across different sports. Waiting in the restroom won’t be an issue as Ballmer wants fans to return to their seats as quickly as possible.
Ballmer also heavily spent time on how to improve the fan experience with comfortable seats with more leg room similar to watching a game. People will also be able to enjoy locations in the building if they choose. Fans will be able to watch games from an outdoor plaza on a screen that will stretch similar to an outdoor, regulation-sized court.
There is another feature known as “The Wall”, which will have 51 rows, stands behind one basket, a 4,700-seat section with a standing-room-only section in between. The owner hopes the wall of sound will be a unique feature in the home-court advantage experience.
The Clippers call the Inuit Dome their new home, there is still a strong possibility of hanging a banner in the Staples Center before their departure.
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