Lawsuit Filed Against City of Inglewood Alleging Secret Clippers Arena Talks

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20:  A general view of the Los Angeles Clippers logo on the floor of the Staples Center before the game between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers on October 20, 2015 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The owner of The Forum in Inglewood, California, filed a lawsuit Monday against the City of Inglewood and Mayor James T. Butts for allegedly holding secret negotiations with the Los Angeles Clippers about building a new arena near where The Forum is located.

According to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne, the Madison Square Garden Company—which owns The Forum—alleged that Butts and the city breached a contract in which it was agreed that no attempt would be made to build another venue in Inglewood that could hurt The Forum's business in terms of attracting concerts and other big events.

As part of the agreement, the Madison Square Garden Company invested roughly $100 million into redeveloping the property surrounding The Forum.

In the lawsuit, it is alleged that the City of Inglewood has been negotiating with the Clippers regarding 15 acres of property that the owners of The Forum had leased for parking purposes.

The Forum's ownership had the option to buy the property, but according to the lawsuit, Butts asked for the lease to be terminated so that a technology park could be built.

Instead, it is alleged that Butts was negotiating with the Clippers to occupy that property and that the Madison Square Garden Company was not notified of those plans.

The Forum, which has been in existence since 1967, was the home of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and NHL's Los Angeles Kings from 1967 through 1999 until both moved to the Staples Center in L.A.

Since 1999, the Clippers have shared Staples Center with the Lakers.

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