Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has begun looking at new sites for an arena, according to ESPN.
The Clippers would neither confirm or deny they are actively searching for a location. However, ESPN reports that one area that piques the franchise’s interest is the west side of Los Angeles.
Currently, the Clippers are co-tenants of Staples Center, which is owned and operated by Auschutz Entertainment group (AEG). They have shared the facility with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings since the arena opened prior to the 1999-2000 NBA season.
In January 2013, the Clippers signed a 10-year extension which would keep the team in Staples Center until 2024. At that point, the Clippers could make their move to a new facility.
The new facility would allow the team to maximize earning potential via naming rights, business operations, sponsorship and concessions.
As of now, the Clippers are the third tenant in Staples. This gives them less share of suites and club seats. It also gives them a lesser say in scheduling.
Further, the Clippers can not control the fan experience as they would like.
Plus, the Clippers do not own their training center. A new arena complex would very likely include a new practice facility. It could also include developments of the surrounding land, similar to L.A. Live.
Apparently, this move has quietly happening for a while.
Steve Ballmer has been casually talking about this for some time. Many within the organization think it will happen. https://t.co/fp8jAAbM7d
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 27, 2016
The Clippers have been trying to emerge out of the Lakers’ shadow. Proof of this includes covering up the Lakers’ banners.
It's clear Clippers would be open to having their own building (see: banners, Lakers).
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 27, 2016
Lastly, the new Clippers’ home will be in Los Angeles. Ballmer recently said he will die owning the L.A. Clippers in Los Angeles, during a tech summit in Seattle.
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