The Los Angeles Clippers held a groundbreaking celebration on Friday for their new stadium, the Intuit Dome, which will reside in Inglewood, California, and will be worth $ 1.8 billion for a capacity of 18,000. fans. According to the team, the stadium will be financed with money from private entities and the building is expected to be inaugurated for the 2024-25 season.
Among the attendees of the event, were some of the Clippers players, of which the superstar Kawhi Leonard and Paul George stood out, considered the second best player of the Los Angeles quintet. Coach Tyronne Lue, who addressed those present at the event, thanked the team owner, Steve Ballmer for the confidence given him, as well as showing his taste for the club’s new project.
“I am blessed to be here, to be a part of this organization,” Lue said. “Steve Ballmer has shown that he is willing to do whatever it takes for the community, our team, our fans… the team he put in for this year has been incredible.”
The Clippers currently play in Downtown Los Angeles, at the Staples Center, where they hang 17 banners of champions of the Lakers, one of the most successful teams in the NBA and from which they have had to live in the shadows in the Los Angeles city. . That arena is also home to the NHL hockey team, the Kings and the WNBA Sparks.
Ballmer gave an emotional presentation of the comforts and facilities that the ambitious project will present, among which he highlighted the speed with which fans will be able to get to the concessions and the bathrooms in less than it would take a time out. The food stands will be managed automatically and will charge the fans without having to have a form of payment on hand, as they will not be served by another person. Additionally, fans will be able to enjoy the impressive 44,000-square-foot oval-shaped scoreboard display.
“When you first enter the stadium through the huge glass doors, pass through the lobby and other venues, you are going to be welcomed at the most. [espectacular] and [impresionante] arena of the entire NBA, “said Ballmer. “Once on the court, you will notice that the screen that hangs very low and the bunch of cables and other things that obstruct your view, will not be there. We will have a giant two-sided oval screen that will cover 44,000 square feet of LED lights, the largest in the NBA. We want you to see the game without distractions, but with a lot of information related to the game ”.
However, the message that resonated the most among those present at the event of the laying of the first stone was that of wanting to manifest their identity as a team and not play under “anyone’s shadow”, in reference to the Lakers.
Ballmer confessed that plans to build a stadium just for the Clippers weren’t on her mind, even asking her president of team operations Gillian Zucker not to consider the idea during the day she was being interviewed for that position. A year later, in 2015, Ballmer was strolling through Southern California with his college friend and now Clippers vice president Dennis Wong, looking for seats with enough space for a stadium.