top of page
  • Tanya Hubbard

What Building The 'Intuit Dome' Really Means To The Los Angeles Community

As ground broke Friday, on the Clipper's new $1.2 billion dollar arena, the Intuit Dome, I can't help but wonder was it necessary. I personally don't think the 18,000-seat complex will help the Clippers ability to gain support nor fans in the LA region.

With that being said is it understandable for the Clippers not to want to share a roof with the Los Angeles Lakers?? Of courseeee. If we are being fair the clippers have every right to want to leave the Staples Center. For context, the Clippers moved from the LA Memorial Sports Arena to the Staples Center in 1999, but sharing a building with the LA Lakers and the NHL’s LA Kings actually put them at a disadvantage. Per the terms of their lease, which ends in 2024, the Clippers are the building’s third tenant and have to schedule their games around the other two teams. Which is crappy yes but ultimately doesn't it make more sense to move cities rather than locations? (Check out my blog on where they should have moved Here)

Since the Clippers are commented to LA, I find it laughable that Owner Steve Ballmer labels them the “grinders” of the city, trying to connect with the working-class sports fans. In my opinion, Ballmer wants to turn the Clippers into his home town hero's the 90's Detroit Pistons. When he just can't grasp that's not who they are.

What non-LA native Ballmer fails to see is the real working-class angelenos don't want to go to a basketball game with the game montage being 'almost Chris Pauls lay-ups and Elton Brands dunks." They want to be razzle dazzled. Who doesn't want to be taken on a ride through history? Through the Kareem sky hooks, the Shaq dominance and the Kobe game winners.

The Lakers legacy is legendary for a reason. The Clippers are competing with arguable one of the greatest sports franchises in the world. It's just an unwinnable fight. As any new girlfriend competing with an long term EX knows, "you just can't compete with history."

Lets talk Numbers: There is no question that the construction of the Intuit Dome will provide the franchise and the city with millions, if not billions, in economic growth in the near future and once construction is done. Starting with Ballmer paying Inglewood $66.2 million for the land where Intuit Dome will sit. The Clippers will get some of that back, though 🤔. Intuit is paying the team more than $500 million for a 23-year naming rights slot.

The the new state-of-the-art $1.8 billion arena is estimated to generate about 10,000 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs. Local hiring is said to be in place to fill 30% of available construction jobs with local labor and 35% of the available arena operation jobs are supposed to be filled by local residents. When the project is done, Intuit Dome is said to generate around $268 million for the city annually and more than $190 million in new tax revenue from 2020-2045 alone. On paper this feels really exciting and looks like an amazing situation for the city and Clipper organization buttttt.....

What Really Matters:

Although the Intuit Dome could mean a lot of beautiful things for the city my biggest issue will always be the continuously ignored lasting effect on those renting and thriving in the area. Nearly 40% of the Inglewood residents rent. Residents around the country always see their rent prices raised in direct correlation with the development of stadiums. While the Clippers can have certain “initiatives” set in place to help benefit the community. The developers’ investment has to be one that is sustainable in order for already blended community to not be priced out of their own neighborhoods. When I say "priced out" I don't just mean with rent. I'm talking business spaces, coffee prices, grocery prices, even gas prices, they all play a factor in being about to be comfortable and thriving in a community that undoubtably will welcome the arrival of new neighbors to town. City specific rent control measures HAVE to be expanded statewide in order to try and protect certain residents from unjust rent hikes. To me this has to be a primary conversation within the Clippers organization and be at the for front of every decision that is made with this project moving forward.

Sadly despite Ballmer saying it was something he is thinking about at every turn, his stubbornness to stay in LA was for no one other than himself and his ego. When you're not thinking of the greater good, it just turns into an unwinnable situation for an unwinnable team 🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍.

Numbers Source: LINK


bottom of page