Clip­pers buy Fo­rum, eye own court.

USA TODAY US Edition - - SPORTS - Mark Me­d­ina

The Clip­pers ended a le­gal fight with the Knicks. The Clip­pers also moved one step closer to­ward no longer need­ing to share the same arena as the Lak­ers in Los An­ge­les.

That is be­cause the Clip­pers reached an agree­ment on Tuesday to pur­chase The Fo­rum from Madi­son Square Gar­den Co. for $400 mil­lion in cash. The Clip­pers even­tu­ally plan to build a pri­vately fi­nanced arena in In­gle­wood next to the Fo­rum, which will con­tinue to op­er­ate as a live mu­sic venue.

“This is an un­prece­dented time, but we be­lieve in our col­lec­tive fu­ture,” Clip­pers owner Steve Ballmer said in a state­ment. “We are committed to our in­vest­ment in the City of In­gle­wood, which will be good for the com­mu­nity, the Clip­pers, and our fans.”

The Clip­pers said the pur­chase will be fi­nal­ized dur­ing the 2020 sec­ond quar­ter through a new en­tity, CAPSS LLC. They also said that its even­tu­ally built pri­vately fi­nanced arena will fea­ture 18,000 seats, a team com­plex and a com­mu­nity cen­ter lo­cated on West Cen­tury Boule­vard be­tween South Prairie Av­enue and South Yukon Av­enue. Pub­lic hear­ings to ap­prove the pro­ject are ex­pected to take place this sum­mer.

MSG, whose ex­ec­u­tive chair­man is Knicks owner James Dolan, had blocked the Clip­pers’ ef­forts to have a pri­vately funded arena in In­gle­wood in three dif­fer­ent law­suits. Those law­suits are now ex­pected to be dropped.

“We are look­ing for­ward to putting the le­gal is­sues be­hind us,” the Clip­pers said in a state­ment to USA TO­DAY Sports and ESPN. “This will al­low us to fo­cus on de­liv­er­ing world-class ex­pe­ri­ences for mu­sic fans and build­ing a new arena that will pro­vide a unique en­vi­ron­ment and a true home court ad­van­tage for Clip­pers fans.”

The Clip­pers have played at Sta­ples Cen­ter since the arena opened in down­town Los An­ge­les in 1999, but they also share the venue with the Lak­ers, the NHL’s Kings and the WNBA’s Sparks. Not only will the Clip­pers ex­pand their earn­ing power and sched­ul­ing flex­i­bil­ity with their own arena, but by build­ing the arena near the Fo­rum un­der same own­er­ship they can co­or­di­nate events among the two venues and re­duce traf­fic con­ges­tion. The Clip­pers added its new arena will cre­ate an es­ti­mated 7,500 con­struc­tion jobs and 1,500 per­ma­nent jobs once the com­plex opens. The Clip­pers also have pro­posed a $100 mil­lion pack­age in com­mu­nity ben­e­fits.

“We know traf­fic is some­thing that many In­gle­wood res­i­dents worry about,” Chris Meany, a prin­ci­pal of Wil­son Meany and the de­vel­oper over­see­ing the Clip­pers’ arena, said in a state­ment. “While we have gone to great lengths to pro­vide an un­prece­dented traf­fic-man­age­ment plan for the new bas­ket­ball arena, this ac­qui­si­tion pro­vides a much greater abil­ity to co­or­di­nate and avoid sched­ul­ing events at the same time at both venues.”

GARY A. VASQUEZ/USA TO­DAY SPORTS

Clip­pers owner Steve Ballmer an­nounced the pur­chase of The Fo­rum.

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