The Los Angeles Clippers’ hopes of moving to a new arena in the Inglewood area of California have been thrown into doubt after James Dolan, owner of rival NBA basketball franchise the New York Knicks, filed a lawsuit over the move.
MSG Forum, a unit of Dolan’s Madison Square Garden Company, owns the Forum, the previous home of NBA side the LA Lakers that is located half-a-mile down the road to the site of the Clippers’ mooted new arena.
According to Bloomberg, the lawsuit accuses the City of Inglewood of not being up front for its reasons for convincing MSG Forum to give up a long-term lease and purchase option on 15 acres of parking space near the Forum.
MSG said in the complaint that it invested $100m (€80.6m/£72m) in the Forum to transform it into a live music venue, and the new Clippers arena will compete with the facility by also hosting family shows and concerts.
In a statement, MSG said Mayor James T. Butts “repeatedly told the Forum that the city needed the land for a ‘technology park’ that would attract new businesses to Inglewood”.
MSG added: “To the Forum’s shock, the ‘technology park’ turned out to be the proposed Clippers arena.”
Inglewood is currently undergoing a construction boom, centred around a new American football stadium that will be the home of NFL outfits the LA Rams and LA Chargers.
In June, the Clippers said it has a three-year exclusive agreement with Inglewood to explore building a basketball arena, training facilities and team offices in the city.
Responding to the lawsuit, Chris Meany, project manager for the proposed arena, said in a statement: “The LA Clippers are committed to a fully transparent, publicly reviewed project that will bring thousands of new jobs and massive economic benefits to the city of Inglewood and its residents.
“MSG has been threatening a lawsuit for months and while we only just received a copy, it appears there are no new issues that weren’t previously made and dismissed by the city of Inglewood.”