Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer’s goal with the Intuit Dome is to “do everything he can to change that reputation of the late-arriving, early-departing” Los Angeles fan so that “all arrows point to keeping them in their seats,” according to Los Angeles Times’ Sam Farmer.
The $2-billion arena, which is scheduled to open in summer 2024, is located at the intersection of Prairie and Century, across the street from SoFi Stadium.
“We want a little more intensity on that side,” Ballmer said.
The passionate owner wants to make his mark on the sports landscape and entertainment culture of Los Angeles.
Ballmer wanted people at the top of the arena should have the same amount of legroom as the fans who paid more for closer seats.
“I was tortured by legroom versus how tight to make the bowl,” Ballmer said. “Legroom hurts intensity. Because just think about it, it pushes you back to have more legroom. If you want to go steep with legroom, then it’s really tall steps that a lot of people struggle with.”
The arena will mark the first time that the Clippers will have something for themselves, after sharing space with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Everything’s a step,” Ballmer said. “It’s one step toward taking our place on the main stage in terms of L.A. basketball. There’s no question, we have zero championships and the other guys in town [have] lots. OK, we’re not going to have lots tomorrow. With luck, we’ll have as many as they do by the time I die — whoops, I’d better live [laughs] probably a few more years.”
Ballmer went on to talk about the fan experience they’re aiming for.
“One of the things people are doing now is having more open social spaces where you can sort of gander at the game and mix with friends. We don’t have any of those. I want people in their seats.”
“We’re going to have to prove to people that we care super much about our fans. We can’t be ambiguous. We have to put on a production that’s more exciting. At the end of the day, what we’ve got to give people is great teams that win championships. There’s no substitute for that.
“But at least in our own building, we’re not playing on the worst nights. If you look at our [Crypto.com Arena] schedule, when it’s `Monday Night Football,’ we play. It’s not when the Lakers or Kings play. It’s the lease — I didn’t sign the lease — but it’s the lease that’s in place.”
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.