The Los Angeles Clippers are poised to take the first steps towards leaving Staples Center for a new home near the upcoming NFL stadium in Inglewood, according to multiple published reports.

Tomorrow, the Inglewood City Council will vote on an exclusive negotiating agreement with a Clippers-controlled limited liability company for a number of City-owned properties along the south side of Century Boulevard.  The majority of the sites are on blocks bounded by Century, Yukon Avenue, 104th Street and Prairie Avenue.  An additional two properties are located west of Prairie.

Including non-City-owned lots, the potential development site could be in excess of 75 acres.

The proposed agreement would allow the Clippers to construct a professional basketball arena "consisting of approximately 18,000 to 20,000 seats as well as related landscaping, parking and various other ancillary uses."

According to the Orange County Register, approval of the ENA would begin a 160-day period in which the Clippers would negotiate with the City of Inglewood to officially purchase the land, as well as begin disclosing details about their plans.  Should the sale close, a state-mandated environmental review process would then begin, with an estimated timeline of 24 months.

Following the completion of the project's environmental impact report, construction of the new venue would occur over approximately 15 months.  Completion could occur in time for the 2022-2023 NBA season.

Reports that Clippers owner Steve Ballmer was searching for a new arena first emerged last year, when ESPN reported that the team had grown tired of its status as the "third tenant" at Staples Center.  The Clippers reportedly receive less revenue than its fellow occupants - the NHL's Kings and the rival Lakers - both of which are owned in part by Staples Center landlord AEG.

A new arena in Inglewood would put the Clippers in close proximity to the NFL stadium being constructed at the former Hollywood Park Race Track, which will be home to both the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers at its opening in 2021.  The sports venues - in addition to an accompanying mixed-use development and a reactivated Forum - would solidify the area's stake as a rival entertainment district to L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles.

Image via Wikimedia Commons
Image via City of Inglewood

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