Inglewood, California, once home to the Los Angeles Lakers, will officially become the home of the Clippers within a year, when the team’s stunning new $1.2 billion Intuit Dome is expected to be completed.
Project managers claim the privately funded arena will bring $260 million and 7,000 jobs to the community, with 30 percent going to Inglewood residents.
The Intuit Dome, which Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer describes as both a “basketball mecca” and a “basketball palazzo,” will feature an array of distinguishing features, including power hookups at every seat and twice as many restrooms as all other seats. other NBA arena.
In addition, there will be five basketball courts between the main arena and the practice facility, as well as an 80,000-square-foot outdoor court, two bars, a restaurant and a massive new team store.
Every detail – from the massive two-sided halo video screen floating above the court, to the triple escalators, to how the bathrooms will be designed to get fans back to their seats as quickly as possible – has a purpose. Naturally, parking, entry and concessions will all be automated using new technologies to enable a hassle-free experience so fans can get to their seats with as few hassles as possible.
In a year, Inglewood will officially become Clippers land when the Intuit Dome opens
A rendering of the 18,000-seat Intuit Dome can be seen in Inglewood, California
The arena emphasizes comfort with extra legroom and power connections at every seat
LA Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer privately financed the arena
The halo will include 40,000 square feet of 4K LED lighting, just over half an acre and about six times the average size of other “big” screens in NBA buildings. The roof of the dome is designed to house the halo, not the other way around.
Things the Clippers have seen in play in German football stadiums, other NBA buildings, NFL stadiums and even the Amazon Go cashier-free convenience stores all led to different ideas that will be put into play at Intuit Dome.
“They led us all here, to this vacant lot that we are going to transform into the best place for fans and players around the world,” Ballmer told The Associated Press in 2021.
The opponents face 51 uninterrupted rows of seats directly behind the bench
The halo will include 40,000 square feet of 4K LED lighting, just over half an acre.
The Clippers currently play at Staples Center, also home to the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings of the NHL.
Ballmer — who originally didn’t want to build an arena when he bought the team — began planning a home for just the Clippers years ago and formally unveiled the project in 2019, saying at the time that the Clippers would break ground in 2021 and to open. in 2024.
“We don’t want to play in anyone’s shadow,” Ballmer said.
Soon they will have their own home, built to what Ballmer believes are ideal specifications for basketball and music.
“A construction site today, but tomorrow a global destination for basketball fans, music lovers and anyone who has ever been moved to stand with 18,000 voices echoing as one,” said Clippers President of Business Operations Gillian Zucker.
The Clippers’ future arena, The Intuit Dome, will be built on September 10
Clippers guard Russell Westbrook has a player option for 2024-2025, when the dome will be open
Technology will be everywhere, including technology that allows fans to leave their seats, walk to a concession stand in the concourse, grab a drink or snack and then — if they do as Ballmer hopes — go right back to their seats.
There would be no cashier, no one to take the order, and the amount of the customer’s bill would be automatically charged. Apart from paying for it, it would be akin to opening the fridge at home, grabbing a drink and heading back to the bank.
Even the best suites don’t have large televisions. The reason is simple: Ballmer wants fans to watch the game from their seats and be part of a home field advantage.
“It’s about the game of basketball … and we’re trying to get you back in your seat as quickly as possible,” Ballmer said.
Steve Ballmer speaks at the Intuit Dome in March as the ceremonial final steel beam is raised
He also wants them to feel comfortable in those seats. Legroom – which will be consistent throughout the arena, from the lowest rows to the very top – will far exceed the norm in most buildings.
“We treated the upper bowl just like the lower bowl,” Ballmer said. “No one gets a bad seat, no matter where you sit in the building.”
His favorite feature film: It will be known as The Wall.
Beyond the end of the field, where the Clippers opponents will have their bench, bordering 51 uninterrupted rows of seats, space for approximately 4,700 fans, with a standing-room-only section in the middle. There’s no upper or lower deck there, just row after row after row of what Ballmer hopes will be a bunch of fans who, well, behave like he does during games.
Norman Powell (left) and Paul George (center) are pictured constructing the Intuit Dome
Again, it’s designed for a purpose. Acoustics experts were brought in to ensure that The Wall generates as much sound as possible.
“I mean, if we’re going to do it right, we’ve got to get the fans there activated,” Ballmer said.
Simply put, one of the league’s best-known fans, and one of the richest men in the world — the former Microsoft CEO is widely believed to be worth about $100 billion — is building himself perhaps the coolest basketball hangout possible and 18,000 of his closest friends. .
“That’s a very well-worded statement,” Ballmer said.