Last week’s big announcement that the Los Angeles Clippers are considering a move to Inglewood created a firestorm of media attention. If successful, the Clippers would be the third professional sports franchise to call Inglewood home within 10 years.
Speculation is spreading like wild fire, and already has residents and business owners thinking how the move would impact their future. What exactly will a move by the Clippers mean for those who live and work in Inglewood now and in the future?
The first thing to remember is the Clippers still have a 7-year commitment to play at Staples Center. The Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) between the City of Inglewood and Los Angeles Clippers signed last week enables the team to pursue development of a state-of-the-art NBA arena.
"It's (ENA) a promise to explore where a relationship will go," Mayor James Butts told Eyewitness News. By the end of the three-year agreement, construction drawings should be ready. Butts said he expects the arena to be built within five years. "This, to me, changes the center of gravity in Los Angeles County to Inglewood," he said.
The proposed basketball arena would seat between 18,000 to 20,000 fans and would be located between Prairie and Yukon Avenue, south of Century Boulevard. Much of the land is owned by the City of Inglewood. Some of the parcels have lied vacant and unused for as long as 30 years.
Here are additional facts about the project, based on frequently asked questions, and issued by the Clippers organization:
How much will the Clippers new basketball arena cost?
The Los Angeles Clippers and the City of Inglewood have just entered the three-year ENA period. A cost estimate is premature at this time.
How would the Los Angeles Clippers’ pay for the arena?
The new arena would be 100 percent privately funded and privately capitalized. No public dollars will be used for this project.
Why are the Clippers making this decision now?
[The] announcement simply gives the team options for the future. The Los Angeles Clippers current lease with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) at STAPLES Center expires in 2024, seven years from now. Putting a new project site together, conducting environmental review, obtaining permits and constructing a new arena takes time – approximately six to seven years.
What is the process now that the Inglewood City Council has passed the ENA?
The ENA establishes a timeline and framework for the development, analysis and entitlement of the planned basketball facility. The Los Angeles Clippers will propose the specific site boundary, program and building forms of the proposed development. The City of Inglewood will then analyze the various impacts that the proposed development might have on the community, including both environmental review and fiscal impact.
Will the Clippers go to the ballot box, like Stan Kroenke did for his football stadium, or will they utilize the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process to review the project?
The Los Angeles Clippers plan to engage in the City’s environmental review process. We estimate that this CEQA review will take approximately two years. It is an open, public and transparent process.
Who is responsible for paying the costs associated with the City of Inglewood’s review?
The Los Angeles Clippers will pay all the costs to plan, entitle and develop the proposed facility. Upon signing the ENA, the Los Angeles Clippers paid the City of Inglewood $1.5 million, which will fund the City’s administrative costs. If additional funding is required, the Clippers will provide the necessary resources.
How will Inglewood residents and business owners benefit from the basketball arena?
The Los Angeles Clippers are committed to working with Inglewood residents and businesses to develop a premier basketball facility that will create a tremendous sense of pride, an economic engine and a source of employment opportunities in Inglewood and the greater Los Angeles community.