Plans for a new NBA arena continue to move forward in Inglewood, but work on 26-acre complex may not proceed as rapidly as originally anticipated.
In July, the Los Angeles Clippers unveiled plans for a $1.2-billion arena and entertainment center along Century Boulevard - just south of the immense football stadium that will once day house the Rams and Chargers. Besides an 18,500-seat venue at the centerpiece of the project, the Clippers are also planning:
- an 85,000-square-foot practice and athletic training facility;
- 71,000 square feet of office space for the Clippers organization;
- a 25,000-square-foot sports medicine clinic;
- 63,000 square feet of ancillary retail;
- a public plaza featuring a large LED screen, a concert stage, and basketball courts;
- a 150-room hotel; and
- parking for 4,125 vehicles.
The arena itself, designed by AECOM, would be ellipsoid in shape, standing 150 feet in height with a "grid-like, multi-faceted facade and roof."
It would greet the corner of Century Boulevard and Prairie Avenue with an open-air plaza lined by retail, with additional space for programming and events.
The bulk of the project's parking would be sited in a garage on the west side of Prairie, potentially linked to the main arena complex via a pedestrian bridge. A smaller garage - serving players and personnel - would be located within the arena.
The proposed hotel - standing approximately six stories - would rise from a currently vacant site less than a half-mile east along Century Boulevard, adjacent to a secondary parking garage and transportation center.
According to a draft environmental impact report now being circulated by the City of Inglewood, construction of the arena is slated to occur over approximately 40 months, starting in 2021 and concluding prior to the start of the 2024-2025 NBA Season. The timeline was previously anticipated to take 36 months.
The Clippers arena - following in the wake of the new NFL stadium and adjoining mixed-use development - has been met with vocal opposition due to concerns that the project will accelerate gentrification. Clippers owners Steve Ballmer has responded by pledging $100 million for the development and preservation of affordable housing in the city. Additionally, Inglewood officials took the step of adopting a rent stabilization policy in 2019.
The project's most vociferous opponent has been the Madison Square Garden Company (MSG), which owns the historic Forum arena two miles north on Prairie Avenue. MSG, which previously held a ground lease for the Clippers arena site, contends that they had only agreed to give up their rights to the land because Inglewood Mayor James Butts had informed them of plans to develop it with an office park.
Though both MSG and other organizations have filed lawsuits seeking to block the arena's construction, none have been successful as of yet.
- Clippers Unveil Plans for 18,500-Seat Arena in Inglewood (Urbanize LA)