Staples center has been home for the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA for the past 17 years. But a report from Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN suggests that the Clippers is finding a new site for its games. This is according to Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.
The Clippers owner have said via multiple NBA sources to have begun searching for potential sites for the Clippers arena. This news was neither confirmed nor denied by the Clippers according to Arnovitz. However, one NBA source said that an area that the franchise wants is in the west side of Los Angeles.
The Clippers have been overshadowed by the Los Angeles Lakers for many years dating back to its debut in 1999. This is because of the fact the Lakers has already won numerous championships at that time. But the Clippers has been struggling to enter the NBA playoffs. It is only in 2011 when the team became relevant by being able to sold-out every regular season games. This is a team that features Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Unfortunately, the Clippers still receives a smaller share of proceeds from suites and club seats than the Lakers and Kings, according to sources. The team also has a lesser say in scheduling and the overall fan experience at the arena based on the report of Arnovitz.
This idea was reiterated by Ballmer in 2015.
Steve said, “We’re third guy in, we have third choice in dates. If you are a good businessman, you don’t come to the end of your lease and say, ‘I have no options, landlord, please take me to the woodshed and beat me.’ We’ll have options.”
Ballmer also had a talk at Geekwire’s Sports Tech Summit in the past two weeks. Steve talked about the potential for innovation at NBA arenas. Innovation like advancements ranging from upgraded broadband capacity to “augmented reality experience”.
In addition, Steve also mentioned in his talk about the Clippers not owning the Staples Center. The Clippers owner stated that they are limited in terms of “fan experience, food and beverage.”
The decision of leaving Staples Center would really be beneficial for the Clippers in the long run. This is because the franchise still does not have their own training center. And that a source with the knowledge of the organization’s vision said, “a new arena complex would very likely include a new practice facility”, as reported by Arnovitz.
But Steve denied that he wanted to relocate the franchise during his talk two weeks ago.
Whether or not the Clippers will be relocated is up to anyone’s guess right now.
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