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#pounditMonday, May 16, 2022

Steve Ballmer looking into options to move Clippers out of Staples Center

Steve-Ballmer

Have the Los Angeles Clippers grown tired of sharing an arena with their in-city rivals?

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer confirmed on Wednesday that the team has had preliminary discussions about building its own arena. There have been rumblings that the Clippers have begun scouting potential build sites and meeting with architects, and Ballmer was asked at a tech conference if there is any truth to those rumors.

“Of course there is,” he said, per Ben Fischer of Sports Business Daily.

Any potential move wouldn’t happen for a while, as the Clippers’ lease with the Staples center runs through 2024. That said, Ballmer believes basketball-specific arenas like the ones in Sacramento and Oklahoma City can make the fan experience more enjoyable.

“When you have seven or eight years left on your lease, at least the last time I checked with my friends in the real estate business, you’d better have an option other than just going back to your current landlord hat in hand,” he said. “So, yeah, we’re going to have real options. We’re sort of putting those options together today.”

The Staples Center is called home by the Clippers, Lakers, WNBA’s L.A. Sparks and NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.

In addition to being a crazed fan who oftentimes can’t control himself while watching games (video here), Ballmer is also an extremely successful businessman. Even if the Clippers plan to remain at the Staples Center, producing actual plans to build a new arena would give Ballmer the leverage he needs to negotiate a new lease agreement when the time comes.

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