The facility, privately financed by Pistons owner Tom Gores and Palace Sports & Entertainment at an expected cost of $50 to $65 million, will include 100,000 square feet of practice and training space for Detroit’s NBA club, which currently practices in a separate facility in Auburn Hills. The Pistons will continue to practice and operate in Auburn Hills during the 2017-18 season.
Representatives of Steve Ballmer and Stan Kroenke, two of the richest owners in professional sports, have had multiple discussions about the Clippers joining the Rams and Chargers in the sports and entertainment district Kroenke is building in Inglewood.
Five people with knowledge of the conversations told The Times the arena could either be on the 298-acre site or an adjacent parcel. Either way, an arena would drive traffic to the planned mixed-use development and share parking with the $2.6-billion football stadium scheduled to open in 2019. The exploratory talks link two titans of sports and business with a sprawling project the NFL already considers transformational.
Inglewood is one of multiple sites the Clippers are exploring in a process that started more than a year ago. The Clippers aren’t settled on a course of action — staying at Staples Center or building a new arena — but the Inglewood discussions are part of their ongoing evaluation of potential options, according to the five people. “It’s too soon to say it would be L.A. Live lite, but if an arena were to bring 200 nights a year, that’s a tremendous amount of foot traffic that would benefit all the ancillary properties,” said a person familiar with the discussions who asked not to be identified in order to speak frankly about the situation.
Charles Oakley is seated next to owner Dan Gilbert in Cleveland tonight for Knicks-Cavs. He said he’s rooting for a good game tonight and also said he’s rooting for the better team but didn’t have much to say about his feud with Knicks owner James Dolan.