LOS ANGELES — Steve Ballmer completed his purchase of The Forum from Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. for $400 million on Monday, clearing the way for the LA Clippers to build their new arena nearby in Inglewood.
Ballmer’s CAPSS LLC completed the cash purchase and a newly-formed Forum Entertainment LLC will continue to operate The Forum as a premier live music venue.
This clears existing litigation that had been standing in the way of Ballmer building a new state-of-the-art, 18,000-seat home for his team. The resolution of outstanding litigation was a condition of the sale, league sources said.
“We are excited to welcome The Forum to our family,” said Gillian Zucker, the Clippers president of business operations who will oversee The Forum’s existing leadership team. “The talented team at The Forum has created a world-class live entertainment venue, and we are committed to building upon that reputation.
“Having The Forum just a short distance from the L.A. Clippers’ new arena will give us the opportunity to provide the City of Inglewood with a number of benefits, including a collaborative approach to managing traffic and community activities.”
Public hearings are slated to begin this summer for the Clippers’ privately financed arena, according to the team.
MSG, which also owns the New York Knicks, was embroiled in a legal battle with the city of Inglewood and Ballmer over building the Clippers’ new arena in close proximity to the Forum. James Dolan, MSG’s executive chairman and CEO, had alleged that Inglewood violated an agreement not to allow competition to the Forum in such close proximity by working with the Clippers on a new arena.
MSG had also argued that the city deceived MSG by convincing it to cede nearby land for the development of a technology park that was ultimately sold to Ballmer. There were several lawsuits, including two by community groups, attempting to block the construction of the arena. Ballmer reached an agreement in late March to purchase The Forum in cash. The Clippers say that all of The Forum’s California-based staff are expected to remain as employees of Forum Entertainment LLC.