NBA Rumors: Clippers Moving Out Of Los Angeles?
Are the Clippers moving out of Los Angeles? Owner Steve Ballmer has begun exploring new arenas for the franchise but could that mean a possible exit from Hollywood?Advertisement
Previously, Ballmer denied rumors that he would eventually move the team closer to his Seattle home. “This team, outside of Los Angeles, isn’t worth what I paid for it. It’s worth what I paid for it because it is in this market with its financial opportunities and buyer base.
“I’m not moving this team. I’m happy to be playing in Los Angeles, and when it comes time to renew our lease, we’ll either renew here or we’ll build here,” Ballmer had said earlier this year.
Clippers want out of Staples
Despite Ballmer’s insistence to stay put in Los Angeles, a new theory suggests that the former Microsoft CEO could be forced to go elsewhere due to the recurring financial problems faced by the Clippers, who share the Staples Center with the Lakers and the NHL’s Kings.
“We don’t own our arena, so a lot of things about fan experience — food and beverage — they’re not on our list because, frankly, we get what we get from AEG, who owns Staples Center,” Ballmer said while addressing the situation at Geekwire’s Sports Tech Summit a few weeks back.
According to ESPN insider Kevin Arnovitz, the Clippers have currently narrowed their search to six different locations. “One league source said the Clippers have identified six locations, all in southern California,” reported Arnovitz, who added that the organization would “neither confirm nor deny they are actively searching for a location.”
Lease expires in 2024
In January 2013, the Clippers signed a 10-year extension with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), owners of Staples Center. Therefore, they are technically bound to the arena until June 2024. However, the Clippers could be forced to cancel the lease if a new arena is found in due course.
The Staples Center opened in downtown Los Angeles prior to the 1999-2000 NBA season. The Lakers moved from the Inglewood-based Forum arena to the Staples and have stayed there ever since.
How long before the Clippers find a new home?