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Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood

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Does MSG Have a Legal Argument? 

Post#141 » by Ranma » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:10 am

With my computer fixed hopefully for good [knock on wood], I've been playing some catch-up and finally got around to reading the Los Angeles Times article. Nathan Fenno does fine work and goes over almost everything discussed in the email shown in the redacted screenshot within the article. What he didn't mention was that Ballmer has or had the old L.A. Times site at his disposal and was supposedly offered land close to City Hall by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

I found it interesting that Linda Rambis noted back then that the Lakers had experts that concluded Ballmer had zero chance of building on "the other site", but that may have been due to the land owned by a church, which caused an uproar in the community but has since been removed from the current plans. Rambis goes on to say that Century Blvd. can't handle the extra traffic, which is something I've been quite concerned about when I first heard of Ballmer's designs on Inglewood. Despite the stated doubts about Ballmer's plans moving forward, there is a clear sense of panic by the Lakers and MSG braintrusts, which include Jeanie Buss and James Dolan.

In the NBA interview with Sekou Smith, Ballmer cited how not having hockey in his arena plans would significantly improve the basketball experience but also mentioned that the arena itself would be a concert venue by default. This lawsuit by MSG can't be about opposing adding another sports venue since the plaintiff itself tried to woo the Lakers back in response to the Clippers' plans. It has to be about the legalities of having another competing music venue, but I don't see any mention or dispute about such a theoretical non-compete clause.

At issue of the legal argument seems to be Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. allegedly lying to MSG about using land it had rights to for a technology park. In the end, would that really matter? MSG had the opportunity to use it for themselves but chose not to do so regardless of what Butts had planned for the land in question, so they clearly had no need--urgent or otherwise--for it.

I know Butts is vulnerable to being exposed for unethical behavior while in office and that Ballmer notably invested in his re-election campaign and is footing the bill for his legal fees and such to grease the wheels of the process, but I don't see how MSG can legally block Ballmer from going through with his plans to build in Inglewood. Sure, MSG can delay the plans with lawsuit(s), but can they prevail if Ballmer is fully invested and ready for a legal fight?

For the record, I was never a big fan of using the Inglewood location for the Clippers' future home, but with Jeanie and Dolan teaming up against us, I can't help but want to win this fight. The hope is that we not only ultimately win, but somehow force or otherwise pressure Dolan to sell the Forum and its accompanying land to Ballmer.

Furthermore, it's also interesting that Irving Azoff testified in a deposition last year that Dolan supported the idea of selling the Lakers half of the Forum. If that is indeed the case, why would he object to selling that stake or the whole thing to Ballmer, who clearly would have interest? Maybe it was all or nothing for Ballmer who was probably unwilling to go partners with Dolan on his stadium venture, but again, just because Dolan can't or won't build a brand new sports venue on the land that he currently owns, what's to keep Ballmer from doing that on neighboring land that Dolan currently has no right to?

With the Lakers publicly stating that they're out of the picture, Ballmer isn't interfering in Dolan's plans to build a new sports stadium. It could also be argued that MSG already has plenty of influence in the music industry for Ballmer's proposed stadium to pose as a real threat to the Forum given that concerts would be a secondary purpose for the Clippers' arena on top of the previously mentioned point that the Los Angeles market is already considered oversaturated in terms of musical venues.

It could be argued that Ballmer would be taking more of a risk in trying to lure musical bookings from the Forum than MSG being threatened by a newcomer to the competitive field. Jeanie herself threatened as much in the cited email by saying that Ballmer would have nothing but Clippers basketball, meaning being shunned from attracting musical acts. Wouldn't that pose as evidence of collusion by Jeanie and Dolan against Ballmer? Granted Dolan wasn't cited to be engaged directly in the correspondence but he arguably had an agent in Azoff acting on his behalf.


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Re: Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood 

Post#142 » by Clemenza » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:25 pm

wco81 wrote:
WC NBA Fan wrote:Not sure why Jeannie is so against this. I know that the Lakers, unlike the Clippers who have a horrible lease and get nothing from Staples, have a % investment in Staples & actually make money off the Clippers but if the Clippers leave, that's actually more dates for them to fill with concerts and other events so it evens out.

More to the point, Lakers fans hate sharing with the Clippers more than Clip fans hate sharing with them so she should be happy that her fanbase is getting what they want assuming the Clips go through with the move.


That LA Times article says Staples is owned by AEG, which also owns 27% of the Lakers. So does the Buss family get a cut of revenues from Clippers and King games too?

I didn't realize Staples is 20 years old now. I would think the Lakers would want a new arena too, with potential for a lot of non-basketball revenues which they wouldn't have to share with other NBA teams.

Azoff said if the Lakers left for Inglewood, then Anshultz would get in bed with Ballmer.

I'm sure in general the Busses don't want their in-town rivals to get a shiny new arena while they play in an aging Staples.

Then again, they probably get really high prices for those court-side seats, even in an older arena, so why risk capital to build a new one?

Playing at Staples is still a positive for the Lakers. Its upgraded constantly and is in an amazing perfectly located area in DTLA.
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Instagram Take 

Post#143 » by Ranma » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:07 am



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MSG / The Forum has actively hindered Clippers-Inglewood plans since the day Ballmer announced the move..... this is annoying to be honest, MSG is dragging out a petty lawsuit over 22 acres of empty land that they don't even own (they leased it for overflow parking), for no justifiable reason

And now MSG is trying to team up with the Flakers to bring them back to The Forum just cause the Clippers for wanting to get their own arena that is privately financed by their own and the city of Inglewood for wanting an NBA team again and alongside their NFL stadium
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Jeanie and Balls 

Post#144 » by Ranma » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:05 am

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Re: Does MSG Have a Legal Argument? 

Post#145 » by WC NBA Fan » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:31 pm

Ranma wrote:With my computer fixed hopefully for good [knock on wood], I've been playing some catch-up and finally got around to reading the Los Angeles Times article. Nathan Fenno does fine work and goes over almost everything discussed in the email shown in the redacted screenshot within the article. What he didn't mention was that Ballmer has or had the old L.A. Times site at his disposal and was supposedly offered land close to City Hall by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

I found it interesting that Linda Rambis noted back then that the Lakers had experts that concluded Ballmer had zero chance of building on "the other site", but that may have been due to the land owned by a church, which caused an uproar in the community but has since been removed from the current plans. Rambis goes on to say that Century Blvd. can't handle the extra traffic, which is something I've been quite concerned about when I first heard of Ballmer's designs on Inglewood. Despite the stated doubts about Ballmer's plans moving forward, there is a clear sense of panic by the Lakers and MSG braintrusts, which include Jeanie Buss and James Dolan.

In the NBA interview with Sekou Smith, Ballmer cited how not having hockey in his arena plans would significantly improve the basketball experience but also mentioned that the arena itself would be a concert venue by default. This lawsuit by MSG can't be about opposing adding another sports venue since the plaintiff itself tried to woo the Lakers back in response to the Clippers' plans. It has to be about the legalities of having another competing music venue, but I don't see any mention or dispute about such a theoretical non-compete clause.

At issue of the legal argument seems to be Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. allegedly lying to MSG about using land it had rights to for a technology park. In the end, would that really matter? MSG had the opportunity to use it for themselves but chose not to do so regardless of what Butts had planned for the land in question, so they clearly had no need--urgent or otherwise--for it.

I know Butts is vulnerable to being exposed for unethical behavior while in office and that Ballmer notably invested in his re-election campaign and is footing the bill for his legal fees and such to grease the wheels of the process, but I don't see how MSG can legally block Ballmer from going through with his plans to build in Inglewood. Sure, MSG can delay the plans with lawsuit(s), but can they prevail if Ballmer is fully invested and ready for a legal fight?

For the record, I was never a big fan of using the Inglewood location for the Clippers' future home, but with Jeanie and Dolan teaming up against us, I can't help but want to win this fight. The hope is that we not only ultimately win, but somehow force or otherwise pressure Dolan to sell the Forum and its accompanying land to Ballmer.

Furthermore, it's also interesting that Irving Azoff testified in a deposition last year that Dolan supported the idea of selling the Lakers half of the Forum. If that is indeed the case, why would he object to selling that stake or the whole thing to Ballmer, who clearly would have interest? Maybe it was all or nothing for Ballmer who was probably unwilling to go partners with Dolan on his stadium venture, but again, just because Dolan can't or won't build a brand new sports venue on the land that he currently owns, what's to keep Ballmer from doing that on neighboring land that Dolan currently has no right to?

With the Lakers publicly stating that they're out of the picture, Ballmer isn't interfering in Dolan's plans to build a new sports stadium. It could also be argued that MSG already has plenty of influence in the music industry for Ballmer's proposed stadium to pose as a real threat to the Forum given that concerts would be a secondary purpose for the Clippers' arena on top of the previously mentioned point that the Los Angeles market is already considered oversaturated in terms of musical venues.

It could be argued that Ballmer would be taking more of a risk in trying to lure musical bookings from the Forum than MSG being threatened by a newcomer to the competitive field. Jeanie herself threatened as much in the cited email by saying that Ballmer would have nothing but Clippers basketball, meaning being shunned from attracting musical acts. Wouldn't that pose as evidence of collusion by Jeanie and Dolan against Ballmer? Granted Dolan wasn't cited to be engaged directly in the correspondence but he arguably had an agent in Azoff acting on his behalf.


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Great writeup. You make some good points about the hypocrisy of all the anti arena people.

To me, what it all comes down to is how much of this is in writing. MSG claims that Butts duped them out of the land but if there is nothing in writing or recorded, what legal leg do they have to stand on?

And I would think that if something was in writing, that we would have seen it by now. It seems to me that MSG is just using every stong arm & delay tactic in the book in order to get Ballmer to study other sites.
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The Logo on Location 

Post#146 » by Ranma » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:49 pm

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Pricing Local Residents Out 

Post#147 » by Ranma » Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:22 am

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Re: Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood 

Post#148 » by WC NBA Fan » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:12 pm

I feel bad for that guy who has to move out but as I've been telling everyone and as the article mentions, the people being displaced are being displaced as a result of the NFL stadium and it's accompanying development. The Clipper arena project has little to no bearing on the displacement.

I read an article in today's Times that quotes Mayor Butts as saying that we'll see renderings of the Clipper site "within 60 days". I can't link it due to being a paying customer but I bet we can find it on twitter somewhere. I'll check and see what I can find.
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Re: Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood 

Post#149 » by mkwest » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:37 pm

Judge Rules Uplift Inglewood’s Lawsuit Against New Clippers Stadium Will Proceed

The Uplift Inglewood Coalition won a major court battle Thursday in its lawsuit against the Los Angeles Clippers’ plan to build a new NBA stadium on publicly owned land in Inglewood, the activist group said in a news release.

A judge ruled to allow Uplift Inglewood’s lawsuit to proceed — a suit arguing that the City of Inglewood violated a law that requires cities to give first priority to affordable housing development when selling off public land.

“Today’s ruling is a step forward for our neighbors in Inglewood who are simply asking the City of Inglewood to follow California’s affordable housing laws,” Dr. D’artagnan Scorza, member of Uplift Inglewood, said. “In the midst of booming development – which has caused skyrocketing rents and the loss of affordable housing – it simply does not make any sense to prioritize an NBA arena over the needs of Inglewood residents. Public land should be used for the public good, and access to housing is central to building strong communities.”

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Battle on Another Front 

Post#150 » by Ranma » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:20 pm

I actually agree with the Uplift Inglewood Coalition's stated position. Hopefully, there is not an ulterior motive or an alignment with the Madison Square Garden Company. Obviously, this ruling helps MSGC's cause but their own lawsuit seems like a frivolous attempt to delay an inevitable action.
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Re: Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood 

Post#151 » by wco81 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:25 pm

Forget where I read it but someone posited that Ballmer is only going through with this stadium thing so that if it gets rejected, he has a stronger argument to move the team to Seattle.

They pointed out that when he tried to buy the Kings a few years before he bought the Clippers, he and his partner said upfront that they were going to move them up to Seattle as soon as they bought it. That caused the NBA to intervene and sell to another owner.

Also apparently, Dolan, who's fighting this new arena, also has business interests or ties in a Seattle arena as well.
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Re: Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood 

Post#152 » by Wammy Giveaway » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:20 am

wco81 wrote:Forget where I read it but someone posited that Ballmer is only going through with this stadium thing so that if it gets rejected, he has a stronger argument to move the team to Seattle.

They pointed out that when he tried to buy the Kings a few years before he bought the Clippers, he and his partner said upfront that they were going to move them up to Seattle as soon as they bought it. That caused the NBA to intervene and sell to another owner.


Which begs the question: Why are the Clippers the only candidate for relocation to Seattle but not the others? It's almost as if the NBA wants the Clippers out of their lives for the good of the league.
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Clearly Unfounded Speculation 

Post#153 » by Ranma » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:38 am

wco81 wrote:Forget where I read it but someone posited that Ballmer is only going through with this stadium thing so that if it gets rejected, he has a stronger argument to move the team to Seattle.

They pointed out that when he tried to buy the Kings a few years before he bought the Clippers, he and his partner said upfront that they were going to move them up to Seattle as soon as they bought it. That caused the NBA to intervene and sell to another owner.

Also apparently, Dolan, who's fighting this new arena, also has business interests or ties in a Seattle arena as well.

Wammy Giveaway wrote:Which begs the question: Why are the Clippers the only candidate for relocation to Seattle but not the others? It's almost as if the NBA wants the Clippers out of their lives for the good of the league.


Yeah, I suspect wherever wco81 read that was likely from a source of ill repute. Ballmer has stated on the record that it would make no business sense to devalue his franchise by moving out of the premium L.A. market. Committing to build public basketball courts for Los Angeles seems like a wasted investment if he didn't plan to be here long-term. Pledging to pay for the mayor of Inglewood's legal fees and contributing significantly to his campaign would also seem like a waste of money if Ballmer really wanted to move to Seattle. The bottom line is that there are an avalanche of reasons indicating Ballmer's commitment as well as reasons for him to stay in Los Angeles as opposed to moving to Seattle any time within the next 10 or even 20 years.

Futhermore, how come Seattle still has difficulty building a basketball stadium while Ballmer is committed to building a basketball-only stadium in Los Angeles? You would think Ballmer would be able to find suitable property in Seattle much easier than having to deal with the shenanigans in Inglewood locking horns with MSGC and Jeanie Buss, but that just seems way obvious to me.
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Re: Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood 

Post#154 » by wco81 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:31 am

I agree it doesn't make sense to move to a smaller market.

But maybe friends and family exert a pull.

Certainly if the arena plans are blocked for whatever reason, it could change his thinking.

Fact that Clippers are second tenants and Staples isn't that new any more should back his case for a new arena. They have no problems selling tickets but they could get much higher ticket prices in a new arena.
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Re: Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood 

Post#155 » by simon24 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:42 am

I wonder why it's taking so many years to get an arena. 5 years is a long time.
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Re: Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood 

Post#156 » by Wammy Giveaway » Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:27 pm

simon24 wrote:I wonder why it's taking so many years to get an arena. 5 years is a long time.


To recap...

The Forum is owned by Madison Square Garden. James Dolan has stock in MSG. As owner of Knicks, he doesn't want a rival franchise operating next to his, thinking the Clippers could devalue his Knicks. So he's using a lawsuit to halt construction.

Jeannie Buss, in a private email exchange, expressed a desire to return to The Forum first before the Clippers did. Through a third party, Dolan loved the idea. Now it's being painted that the Knicks and Lakers are conspiring against the Clippers to move next to The Forum.

Their endgame is to convince Ballmer that the Clippers have no home in Los Angeles, forcing him to relocate his franchise to Seattle. But, if they do, Clay Bennett will demand that the Clipper franchise be contracted completely and replaced by the Supersonics, past history and all. Other concessions include surrendering all accomplishments from the Blake Griffin era to the present to the Sonics. They want to convince the NBA that anything Clippers should be strictly Sterling - the worst franchise in all of sports, and that the world would be better off if the Clippers never existed. Effectively, Bennett will attempt to blame the Clippers for Seattle losing its team to Oklahoma City, giving him the perfect scapegoat.
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Re: Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood 

Post#157 » by Roscoe Sheed » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:27 pm

I think everything is speculative at this point. IF the arena in Inglewood falls through, Ballmer could explore other options in LA.

Ballmer has said repeatedly he won’t move the team and the league might not let him move even if he wanted to. Nobody has any solid evidence/sources indicating he wants to move the team to Seattle.

If any team were to move to Seattle, I’d expect a team that struggles financially like Memphis or New Orleans. It seems like nobody cares about basketball in Louisiana, so I think the pelicans should move there
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Re: Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood 

Post#158 » by Akklaim1 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:54 pm

I wish it was.that easy to find an available land. But when it's that hard even for a billionaire to get a deal done, then it seems impossible. Short Buss and Dolan can **** off.

I wonder if Ballmer would like to partner up with the Dodgers. An arena adjacent to Dodger Stadium...hmm.
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Re: Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood 

Post#159 » by simon24 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:30 am

Wammy Giveaway wrote:
simon24 wrote:I wonder why it's taking so many years to get an arena. 5 years is a long time.


To recap...

The Forum is owned by Madison Square Garden. James Dolan has stock in MSG. As owner of Knicks, he doesn't want a rival franchise operating next to his, thinking the Clippers could devalue his Knicks. So he's using a lawsuit to halt construction.

Jeannie Buss, in a private email exchange, expressed a desire to return to The Forum first before the Clippers did. Through a third party, Dolan loved the idea. Now it's being painted that the Knicks and Lakers are conspiring against the Clippers to move next to The Forum.

Their endgame is to convince Ballmer that the Clippers have no home in Los Angeles, forcing him to relocate his franchise to Seattle. But, if they do, Clay Bennett will demand that the Clipper franchise be contracted completely and replaced by the Supersonics, past history and all. Other concessions include surrendering all accomplishments from the Blake Griffin era to the present to the Sonics. They want to convince the NBA that anything Clippers should be strictly Sterling - the worst franchise in all of sports, and that the world would be better off if the Clippers never existed. Effectively, Bennett will attempt to blame the Clippers for Seattle losing its team to Oklahoma City, giving him the perfect scapegoat.


Yeah I'm aware of the Jeanie/Dolan/Ballmer thing. I get it Dolan doesn't want Ballmer to get an arena in Inglewood so it won't take away concerts and shows from The Forum.

I can't see Ballmer moving the Clippers out of LA. Bad business move. I'm not familiar with the city of LA but I could imagine big as that city is there got to be a suburb where they can build an arena and not worry about Dolan

I read up on the Inglewood locals. It would hurt them if Ballmer gets his arena there.
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Re: Clippers Might Relocate... To Inglewood 

Post#160 » by Akklaim1 » Thu May 2, 2019 7:10 pm

So Key Arena's renovations should be completed by 2021. Should we be worried? The years of strugggle to get the Inglewood deal done and the completion of KeyArena's makeover in a couple of years may be just a coincidence but it has to mean more than that in the future.

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