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Report: Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer Nearing Deal to Buy The Forum

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is nearing a deal to purchase The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. from the Madison Square Garden company, according to ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz.

Neither party confirmed or denied ESPN's report, however, Los Angeles issued a statement regarding a possible agreement: "The Clippers continue to pursue plans to build a state-of-the-art, 18,000-seat basketball arena and entertainment complex in Inglewood and are currently working with the city to successfully complete the comprehensive Environmental Impact Report."

"We are examining every possible way to resolve our differences with Madison Square Garden Co. regarding our new arena."

Per Arnovitz, the agreement "would clear a major hurdle in the Clippers' efforts to construct a new home arena" in the area, something Ballmer has pushed for since he purchased the team for $2 billion in 2014.

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MSG acquired the stadium in 2012 but it has dealt with legal battles in recent years, namely as it relates to the Clippers building a new stadium nearby.

In 2017, Los Angeles agreed to a deal with the city in hopes of developing an arena complex just south of the Rams' new stadium. Per ESPN, The Forum would continue to operate until a new Clippers arena is finished.

An NBA team hasn't regularly played in The Forum since 1999, when the Lakers moved to Staples Center. The Los Angeles Sparks played in The Forum from 1997 until 2001, when they too moved to Staples Center.