Arguments surrounding a new Los Angeles Clippers arena continue as two lawmakers accuse the California Air Resources Board of racism over delays in approving it.
There are a number of opponents when it comes to the proposed arena, including the Madison Square Garden Co., which has launched a campaign smearing the project saying it isn’t suitable for the area. The company owns and operates the Forum, which sits less than a mile from where the new Clippers arena would sit. One arena developer has said delays are in part due to the company’s influence. Other opponents include legislators and environmental groups. But Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. has called Madison Square Garden’s new campaign “desperate.” He believes Inglewood has the capacity to handle increased traffic and parking needs. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has also spoken out, saying the organization won’t be deterred by efforts against the new arena.
We reached out to the Clippers organization but did not receive an immediate response. We also reached out to CARB. They did not get back to us for an interview. The Forum provided the following statement:
“We want to be clear: we would not be against the Clippers building anywhere else in the LA market – which would still be competition for us. What we oppose is them locating their venue next to a football stadium and the Forum, right next to a residential neighborhood and on land that was taken through fraud and in violation of our deal with Inglewood. Jamming three large-scale venues within a mile of each other would ruin the experience for all event attendees and overwhelm Inglewood through crippling traffic and completely insufficient parking, increasing pollution and decreasing the quality of life for the surrounding community.”
David Pettit, a senior attorney on the climate and clean energy program at the NRDC; he’s been working on the Clippers project for the NRDC