Steve Ballmer says Clippers are not moving to Seattle
Steve Ballmer has no plans to fill the void that the SuperSonics left behind in his home city.
On Thursday, the LA Clippers unveiled the first details of their planned new complex in Inglewood, Calif. In addition to a new arena, the complex will feature a number of other facilities, including team offices and retail stores, and will be funded privately without taxpayer dollars. The project has a targeted completion date of fall 2024, which is when the Clippers’ current lease at Staples Center in Los Angeles expires.
Clippers say they are constructing a new basketball arena along with a practice facility, team offices, medical facility, retail stores, restaurants and parking in Inglewood. Clips say it will be privately financed with no taxpayer dollars and built on property owned by the City. pic.twitter.com/vr7nQDkuRp
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 26, 2019
In the wake of the unveiling, Ballmer, the former Microsoft executive, stressed that he would not be moving the team to his hometown of Seattle.
“We’re not moving,” he said of he and wife Connie, per Andrew Greif of the LA Times. “And neither is our basketball team. Let’s get that out of the way.”
The Clippers have been in Los Angeles since 1984 and have played at Staples Center since it opened in 1999. They have third priority on the arena schedule however (behind the NHL’s Kings and the rival Lakers), and Ballmer has said that he does not like sharing a town with the Lakers.
Moving to Inglewood instead of Seattle in a few seasons will help the Clippers fully create their own identity independent of the Lakers’ shadow while also staying true to their Angeleno core.