Inglewood, Calif.’s City Council approved a negotiating agreement with the NBA’s Clippers to potentially build a new 20,000-seat arena for the team.


Photo: AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo

James T. Butts Jr. - Mayor of Inglewood James T. Butts Jr. talks during an NFL football news conference in Inglewood, Calif., Jan. 18.

The arena would be on a 20-acre plot across from the $2.6 billion stadium under construction for the NFL’s Chargers and Rams. The stadium is expected to complete in 2020.

The Clippers are leased at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles until 2024, but the team and AEG are in discussions to renegotiate that agreement. The Clippers currently share the Staples Center with the Lakers.

The negotiating deal between the city and the team lasts 36 months and means the team will pay $1.5 million to cover the city’s expenses.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has wanted to start building a new arena since he bought the team for $2 billion in 2014, and the Los Angeles Times reported he is willing to foot the bill for construction of the new arena.

Representatives from the Forum in Inglewood issued a statement June 15 in response to the a competing arena potentially being erected in town.

“No one believes in Inglewood more than we do. We invested in the city when others would not. … Now, it appears the City of Inglewood has been doing a lot of backroom dealing. There may be a path forward, but not without a real public process that is done in the full light of day with the participation of Inglewood’s residents and many other stakeholders.”

Forum lawyers at Latham & Watkins also sent an email to the mayor and city council members accusing them of violating agreements and legal requirements, the Times reported.

“Given the limited amount of time and lack of notice, the Forum reserves all rights to object to the proposed Exclusive Negotiating Agreement and arena project,” the letter reportedly read.

The land in question currently has a variety of businesses on it.