Steve Ballmer has been one of the most talked-about owners in sports after buying the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion in 2014.
This was following the Donald Sterling scandal that led to him getting banned for life by the NBA.
Despite still not getting close to the revenue and fanbase that the Los Angeles Lakers get, what Ballmer has done with the Clippers in the five years of his tenure as owner has been remarkable. He has been instrumental in re-shaping the Clippers roster into the championship contender seen today, led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Now, Ballmer has landed another major deal to help the Clippers, purchasing The Forum from New York Knicks owner Jim Dolan for $400 million in cash, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:
The Clippers announced that the newly formed CAPSS LLC reached the agreement with The Madison Square Garden Company, which owned the Forum, to purchase the music venue for $400 million in cash.
The Forum will remain as a music venue.
Ballmer made this purchase in order to be able to build his own 18,000-seat arena in the same lot as The Forum without worrying about litigation from Dolan and the Madison Square Garden group:
This clears existing litigation that was standing in the way of Ballmer building a new state-of-the-art, 18,000-seat home for his team, according to the Clippers. The resolution of outstanding litigation was a condition of the sale, league sources said.
Dolan and Ballmer had been fighting over this new arena for quite some time now and this purchase by the Clippers resolves that fight while giving the Clippers somewhere to go when their lease at Staples Center ends.
The Clippers will soon begin construction on their brand new arena in Inglewood, next to The Forum and SoFi Stadium — home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. Construction of the new arena should be completed by the end of the 2023-24 NBA season, which is the team’s final season at Staples Center.
With the purchase of the team itself, The Forum, and the construction of the new arena, the Clippers have become an expensive investment for Ballmer. However, with his over $50 billion net worth, it’s likely more than worth it.