July 29, 2016
According to multiple NBA sources, Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO and current owner of the Clippers, is looking for a new arena for his NBA team. Although the franchise would neither confirm nor deny the reports, one source mentioned that Los Angeles’ west side is a point of interest.
The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers have played their home games at Staples Center since it opened, prior to the 1999-2000 NBA season. The Staples Center, which is both owned and operated by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), also hosts the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. The Clippers’ current lease, signed in January 2013 as a 10-year extension, keeps them there until June 2024. Any potential move will therefore only happen once the lease expires.
Since AEG owns Staples Center, the Clippers cannot currently monetize sponsorship and licensing fees or fully design the fans’ experience. Being the “third tenant” has meant that the Clippers receive less proceeds than both the Lakers and Kings for suite and club seats.
Ballmer said, “If you are a good businessman, you don’t come to the end of your lease and say, ‘I have no options, landlord, please take me to the woodshed and beat me.’ We’ll have options.”
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