Ballmer demands fast-tracked legal process, bonus billboards for proposed Inglewood arena

So we have a partial answer to the question of what public aid billionaire Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer will be demanding for his proposed new NBA arena in Inglewood, and it’s “a bunch of stuff that’s worth money to him but isn’t a direct cash subsidy. Per the L.A. Times, which snuck a peek at the team’s draft legislation:

  • Any lawsuits against the arena under the California Environmental Quality Act would get fast-tracked to be wrapped up within nine months, and a court would be unable to halt construction even if it found environmental review to be inadequate. (The Sacramento Kings previously got this get-out-of-lawsuits-free card for their new arena, as did Ed Roski for his never-built City of Industry NFL stadium.)
  • The bill “would also allow the city to permit more billboards and other signage around the arena than otherwise allowed under the law.” No details in the Times report about how many more billboards, but clearly that’s a potentially large revenue source for Ballmer.

Things we still don’t know: Who would acquire the land for the arena, whether it would involve evicting current residents by eminent domain, if so who would pay for that, who would own the arena and would Ballmer pay property taxes and/or rent and/or money toward maintenance and operations, etc. If fast-tracking legal challenges and a bunch of free billboards is all Ballmer gets, it would hardly be the worst arena deal in history. But there’s still plenty of room to lard on more hidden subsidies as well, so everyone stay tuned.


2 comments on “Ballmer demands fast-tracked legal process, bonus billboards for proposed Inglewood arena

  1. There was actually some good news that came out regarding whether or nort residents would be getting pushed out. This LA Times article….

    …..details how the area being used for the arena & whatever else is being downsized meaning that the church and residences will be spared but the fate of the Church’s fried chicken as well as the 2 motels are still up in the air.

    I was hoping that Ballmer would be willing to rebuild all 3 of them in the large, city owned plot of land that is about 200 yards down Century blvd. from the current spot. We’ll see how that goes.

  2. “Sure, I am worth over $20Bn and paid three times actual value for the franchise from Sterling (for no reason whatsoever), but I need poor people to pay extra taxes to fund my stadium. You might have to close a few inner city schools or hospitals to cover my operating costs too”.

    Clarity is important.