It’s an exciting time to be a Clipper fan. Just one day after Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were formally introduced, the Clippers announced plans for their new arena in Inglewood.
Unlike most arenas in professional sports, the Clippers new home will be 100% privately funded and the Clippers plan to build a state of the art 18,500 seat arena, corporate headquarters, a team training facility, a sports medicine clinic, community courts and an area with a giant big screen for fans to watch games outside. (via NBA.com)
“My goal is simple. I want the Clippers to have the best home in all of sports,” said Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer. “What that means to me is an unparalleled environment for players, for fans, for sponsors and for the community of Inglewood. Our goal is to build a facility that re-sets fans’ expectations while having a transformative impact on the city we will call home.”
Most arenas are built with other events in mind, not just basketball. For them to be profitable, you have to consider hosting conferences, concerts, and similar events. This influences the architecture of the arena. The Clippers are building their arena with basketball first. That’s a perk of having a multi-billionaire owner who loves basketball.
Ballmer wants it to be loud and enhance the fan experience, so the plan is to have one behind the basket area with seats from top to bottom – no VIP areas, suites, or tears. That reduces your income per game but increases the experience of everyone in the arena.
The arena is planned to be finished by 2024, and the most significant obstacle is the lawsuit James Dolan has filed against Steve Ballmer. The plot of land the Clippers plan to use was owned by The Forum, and they let go of it under the understanding the city needs it for a different purpose. When it was announced the Clippers would build there, MSG Company filed a suit claiming they were deceived. Alongside James Dolan’s ego, the main issue is this arena would be a competitor for The Forum. Ballmer is confident they will resolve this issue, and they will be on schedule.
The main design feature of the arena is a three-dimensional oval design of diamond-shaped metal panels inspired by the concept of a basketball with the Clippers logo swishing through a net. The panels have been designed to provide solar benefit for maximum energy efficiency, as part of the facility’s LEED GOLD-certified design. The entire complex will achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.