Steve Ballmer: NBA Arenas, Concert Venues Won't Open for "Foreseeable Future"

Garrett Chorpenning

Steve Ballmer isn't just the owner of the LA Clippers anymore — the former Microsoft CEO officially purchased The Forum last month for $400 million, granting him ownership of one of the most famous arenas and concert venues in the country. With that, he's got a lot more to worry about than just basketball — especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ballmer joined Yahoo Finance's Andy Serwer this week for an interview about the NBA's plan to return to play, but the two also touched on what the virus means for his Inglewood property as well.

"I can't see anybody agreeing to reopen arenas or concert venues in the foreseeable future," Ballmer said. "So, I have to say that things will be fan-less, which, who knows what kind of experience that will be to watch on TV and for the players."

Ballmer purchased the venue to get over the final hurdle that was keeping him from going through with his plan to build an all-new arena for the Clippers, which is set to be completed in 2024. The franchise's statement on the matter says ownership of both properties will allow for better schedule and traffic management, which will make it easier for fans to get to and from games and concerts.

Ballmer also added that he's "optimistic" about the league's return and how LA's players can get back in the practice facility for distanced workouts if they so choose. 

With the league set to vote on its plan to return to play this Thursday, there are plenty of reasons for Clippers fans to be optimistic as well. All signs point to the NBA resuming play in Orlando, Florida on July 31, meaning LA will still get a chance to compete for its first-ever championship this year.