The LA Clippers are one of the few teams in the NBA who have a new arena on the way. As part of his plan to build their own identity, owner Steve Ballmer is considering blockchain technology for ticket sales.
The clippers new arena is the first major sports venue to be built in Los Angeles since 1999. Steve Ballmer, owner of the LA Clippers, has been working on building his own presence and identity with the new arena.
When Steve Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion in 2014, he was happy to play in Staples Center, which also houses the Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.
Within a year, though, Ballmer recognized that the Clippers needed to construct their own arena if they were to develop their own “brand.”
“‘We’re our own men,’ we needed to emphasize. We don’t play with the other men at the same area. We’ll have our own identity,’ says the group.” In a wide-ranging interview with ESPN ahead of the Clippers’ new arena’s groundbreaking on Friday, Ballmer said.
The @IntuitDome is a new product from @Intuit. The Los Angeles Clippers’ future home.
— September 17, 2021, LA Clippers (@LAClippers)
Ballmer estimates that the new stadium, which will be called as the Intuit Dome and will open for the 2024-25 season, would cost him upwards of $2 billion — roughly the same amount he spent for the Clippers seven years ago — but he thinks it is critical to the team’s success on and off the court.
“I’ve never been in a community where there were two teams,” Ballmer remarked. “I was born and raised in Detroit. Everybody loves the Pistons. And I believe the Clippers were terrible enough for a long time that everyone could simply overlook them.
“We’re good right now, and we’ll continue to be excellent year after year.” We’re going to construct our own structure, with more of our own character and individuality. And I believe that some of the supporters on the opposing side, if you will, are thinking to themselves, ‘What?’ Do you dare to challenge our dominance?’ We don’t.
“The league consists of 30 clubs. There are 29 more. And one of them is headquartered in Los Angeles. And we’ve attracted a following. ‘LA Our Way’ is a phrase we utilize. And we’re establishing our own identity and presence. And if the other guys feel intimidated — I mean, the other guys’ fans; the players are a different story altogether — that’s OK. It indicates we’re on the right track.”
The Intuit Dome is courtesy of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Despite losing superstar player Kawhi Leonard to a knee injury in the second round of the playoffs, the Clippers advanced to their first Western Conference finals in club history last season.
Leonard will miss the most of the 2021-22 season as he recovers from a partly torn ACL in his right knee, which he had surgically repaired in the summer. Ballmer expressed confidence in the team’s ability to build on last season’s playoff triumph.
“I want to win every year,” Ballmer remarked. “Some will say things like, “We’re taking a step back” or “We’re having an injury year.” No. Our supporters may be certain that we will make every effort to win as many games as possible each year. We’ve now had a little setback. We need to get Kawhi back on track. And once he returns, we’ll be back to full strength.”
Leonard was re-signed to a four-year, $176.3 million deal by the Clippers in the summer. In a deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, they also acquired guard Eric Bledsoe. Whatever, they’ll mostly keep the same lineup as last season, with the exception of Leonard, who will be out for however long his recovery takes.
Even though Kawhi Leonard is likely to miss a significant portion of the season, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is upbeat. “I want to win every year,” he added. “… Our supporters can rely on us to strive to win as many games as possible every year.” NBAE/Getty Images/Adam Pantozzi
Ballmer confesses to fantasizing about what could have happened if Leonard hadn’t been injured.
“It was excruciating,” Ballmer remarked. “It’s hurtful for Kawhi, hurtful for our team, hurtful for myself, and hurtful for our supporters.” We did, however, give it a go. We gave it our all. Even without Kawhi, we were able to go past Utah.
“I was really proud of our team. Even without Kawhi, we were only a hair away from securing a victory in the Western Conference finals. We’ll see when he returns, but for next year, we’ll have essentially the same squad…. I’m still hopeful.”
Ballmer, 65, who resigned as Microsoft’s CEO in 2013 and was recently named the eighth-richest person in the world by Bloomberg with a net worth of $108.5 billion, has turned his attention to the new arena.
He set out to construct the NBA’s most comfortable, cutting-edge arena and has spared no cost in doing so.
Ballmer paid $400 million for the Forum in Inglewood from New York Knicks owner James Dolan’s The Madison Square Garden Company last year. This decision resolved a litigation that had been preventing the construction of a new arena near the music venue.
Ballmer said he spent years studying stadiums and arenas around the nation, taking influence from locations like Duke’s student section (which will be mirrored in a 51-row portion of the stadium dubbed “The Wall”), Utah’s Vivint Arena’s slope, and end zone suites at football stadiums.
He also has a few guiding ideas from his own fandom that are highlighted in the design. Fans must be in their seats, watching basketball and applauding as much as possible, according to Ballmer. So, he claims, the Intuit Dome will feature more legroom than any other NBA stadium, twice the number of restrooms, and no checkout lines at food booths to reduce the amount of time spectators are gone from their seats (everything will be ordered online).
“I get my vitality from the structure,” Ballmer said. “People, on the other hand, go away and are late to games or do not return from halftime. I want to make sure that everyone is seated so that we can feed off of the enthusiasm.”
The inglewood basketball and entertainment center is a new arena that the LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has been building. He plans on creating a new identity for the team with this arena.
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