A crane slowly lifting a steel beam towards the Inglewood sky with a canvas reading Intuit Dome as a plane glide towards LAX served as yet fitting backdrop for Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. to celebrate again.
No, the newest and most modern of basketball arenas is not complete nor is the renaissance of a city that decades ago was just a mere sound bar in a rap song, but the sports and entertainment epic center of the world is close.
Last week the wildly energetic and vastly trimmed down imaginative Ballmer and the man who has been known to transform visionary ideas into reality, Butts were joined by State Senator Steve Bradford to showcase a significant stage of the evolving massive sports complex.
“It’s a real pleasure to be here today to welcome you to our house, our home. It was less than a year ago that we were out for the ground breaking of Intuit Dome and for me, I don’t know anything about construction, it is anything short of amazing how much progress we have made in a year,” an elated Ballmer said.
He continued, “They told me that the big milestone in construction is when you’re topping off concrete with a steel structure. The question was when does the first steel go in? They say it’s gotta be in by June 15, 2022. When was it in? June 15, 2022! Things are moving along and we have great folks who are out here every day and we’re appreciative. We also have a lot of folks here from the community as well as around Southern California.”
Ballmer would not be Ballmer if he could contain himself, so he didn’t.
“I am incredibly excited about the building that we are building. For me it’s gotta be a lot of things. We want the comfort and convenience of home, the energy, excitement and enthusiasm of being able to smell the leather on the ball as it is moving around the court, we want people out there cheering and supporting and really being part of our winning team, that’s all important to us as we move forward,” Ballmer blasted.
He said there is one small problem. It’s still two years away and he wants the thing here now!
“We are so happy to have Steve Ballmer in Inglewood, the guy is so fired up,” followed Butts.
“Inglewood came from a time when you could take Prairie Ave. and on a monopoly board it would be like Illinois Avenue, it’s like the third row as you go around a monopoly board. Then we got down to where this street was like Mediterranean Avenue and Baltic Avenue. Well, now with Sofi and the Intuit Dome we are officially Park Place and the Boardwalk.,” Butts added.
“We really appreciate the Clippers, not only for building this great edition to the city, but for committing to employing Inglewood residents at a rate of 30 percent.”
During this tour, one could see the sidelines that Tyronn Lue would be roaming during games, and where the fans will arrive, off to the west you can’t help but notice steel sections of seats high above the court.
It was an event that wet your appetite for what is to come, but like Ballmer I am getting restless and don’t know if I can wait that long.