Los Angeles Clippers break ground for new home arena
The Los Angeles Clippers are on their way to building their own home, with a groundbreaking ceremony in Inglewood for what will be known as Intuit Dome.
According to the Associated Press, team owner Steve Ballmer said the building will eclipse others in the NBA, saying it would be a “Basketball Mecca! Basketball palazzo!”
The Intuit Dome in Inglewood will house the Clippers’ practice facility, team offices for both business and basketball operations, retail space, among others.
Clippers to forge their "own identity"
The Clippers currently play at Staples Center, which they share with the Los Angeles Lakers, the WNBA’s Sparks, and the NHL’s Kings.
Ballmer told ESPN that his team had to have their own arena to be able to assert their personality.
“We needed to say, “We’re our own guys. We don’t play in the same places as the other guys. We’re going to have our own identity,” he said.
Ballmer: the Clippers now a force to contend with
Ballmer said that in the past, the Clippers were not a strong team that was easily eclipsed by the more successful Los Angeles Lakers. But he says he wants this to end as the franchise continues to contend for titles.
“We’re good now, and we’re going to be good year in and year out,” he said. “And I think some of the fans on the other side, if you will, it’s like ‘What? You dare to question our supremacy?’ No, we do.”
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The Clippers were able to reach the Western Conference finals of the NBA Playoffs last season for the first time in the franchise’s history.
Intuit Dome’s construction is a further reflection of the team’s growth under Ballmer, who took the reins in 2014.
Plans to construct the privately-funded $2 billion Clippers-only arena began years ago, and the project was formally unveiled in 2019.
Ballmer had said then that they would break ground in 2021 and open in 2024, and it looks like they are right on track to open for the 2024-2025 NBA season.
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