Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer buys the Forum for $400 million in cash

Steve Ballmer, former chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., gestures as he speaks during a news conference after he was introduced as the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles, California.

Kevork Djansezian | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Forum in Inglewood has a new owner, and his name is Steve Ballmer.

The former Microsoft CEO, through his company CAPSS LLC, has reached an agreement to purchase the entertainment complex from Madison Square Garden Company for $400 million in cash, the company said in a statement.

With the purchase, Ballmer also clears himself from legal battles with MSG, the company led by fellow National Basketball Association team owner James Dolan. The tension with MSG threatened to prevent Ballmer, who owns the Los Angeles Clippers, from constructing a new arena near the Inglewood venue.  

“This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Baller 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.”

Ballmer plans to build a privately financed, 18,000-seat arena which is expected to open in 2024. According to the Washington Post, the new complex could total $1 billion.

Ballmer’s new arena would also relocate the Clippers from the Staples Center, where they’ve played since 1999.  The downtown Los Angeles arena is also home to the Lakers and National Hockey League’s Kings.

“When I bought the team, I thought it was great we didn’t need to build an arena,” Ballmer the Los Angeles Times in July 2019. “But as we looked forward we were at some disadvantages in Staples Center.”

According to NBA.com, the Clippers area is projected to generate “$100 million in new tax revenue that will be used to improve local parks, libraries, and police and fire services. Additionally, the team is committed to a $100 million community benefits package, which will include investments in after-school programs, services for seniors, libraries and housing.”

The Forum was the previous home to the Lakers, where the club played from 1967-1999. The Lakers won five of the clubs’ 16 NBA championships in the 1980s while playing at the Forum before moving to the Staples Center in 1999. MSG purchased The Forum for $23.5 million in 2012.

Ballmer, 64, purchased the Clippers in 2014 for a then record $2 billion. He’s currently ranked 19th on Forbes’ world billionaires list with an estimated worth of $41.2 billion.

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