March 24 (UPI) — Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer reached an agreement with The Madison Square Garden Company to purchase the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., for $400 million in cash, the franchise announced Tuesday.
“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 deal clears a major obstacle in the Clippers’ mission to construct a new arena in Inglewood, which Ballmer has pushed for since purchasing the franchise for $2 billion in 2014.
League sources told the Los Angeles Times and ESPN that the agreement will resolve existing litigation brought by MSG surrounding plans for the Clippers’ new NBA arena, clearing the way for a new state-of-the-art, 18,000-seat home for Ballmer’s team.
The Madison Square Garden Company, whose executive chairman is New York Knicks owner James Dolan, previously attempted to block the construction of the Clippers’ proposed privately funded, billion-dollar arena over its proximity to the Forum.
The Forum will continue to operate as a music venue and current employees at the arena will be extended job offers by CAPPS until a new arena is built, according to ESPN.
The Clippers said the purchase of the Forum will be made through a new entity, CAPSS LLC, and is expected to close during the 2020 second quarter.