Gillian Zucker Rumors
Q: Does it seem like it’s been a year since you broke ground? Zucker: “When you look at how much progress has been made out there, it seems like it should’ve been much longer. It’s moving along so well. You can walk on some of the concourse levels. You can go into areas where the clubs are going to be. The roof will be going in shortly. It’s pretty exciting. They’ve gotten a lot done in just a year.”
Q: The cost, seen a couple of numbers – $1.2 billion and $2 billion. What’s the exact cost? Zucker: “Actually, it fluctuates, which is probably why you’ve seen different numbers. When we first started the project, it was in that $1.2 billion range. Post COVID, there’s been a lot of changes and supply change and cost of materials, etc. So we have seen some inflation on the cost of the building. Probably more like the $2 billion range.”
Q: What amenities are going to make this arena unique? Zucker: There are a few things that are really special about it from an architecture standpoint. First one is in one of the end zones there’s a wall of people, essentially, that is 51 rows high. So it’s completely unbroken in terms of the grandstand there. There aren’t any suites that break it up. There’s no club (seating) in the way. As a result of that, we believe that it’s going to provide this tremendously intense homecourt advantage.”
The first thing I want to talk to you about: I asked you a while ago, I’m always fascinated when I go on the NBA website, and it says “LA Clippers” instead of Los Angeles Clippers. That was an official change. You’ve explained what is behind that, how it’s not a huge deal. But how would you describe how that happened? Gillian Zucker: I mean, I think it was just essentially that we were the only team in the league that when you said “Los Angeles,” you didn’t actually know what team they were talking about. It could have been either one of us. That wasn’t the same for New York, that you know is the Knicks. Or Brooklyn, that you know is the Nets. And so I just really felt like it was important there would be a distinction — that when people see “LA,” they know which team they’re talking about. When people say “Los Angeles,” they know what team they’re talking about, in league standings and listings.
So there’s going to be even more of a visibility to the future of Intuit Dome that we’ll see this season that maybe last year we didn’t see as much? Gillian Zucker: If you’re a Clipper fan, there are a lot of things to be excited about right now. The new building. The team that’s going to be on the court, and I think the excitement that they’re going to bring for sure. The new broadcast products and relationships that we’ve built. And many, many other things that will be unfolding over the course of the season.
This week, the Intuit Dome reached another milestone, as the concrete frame for the arena set to open in time for the 2024-25 NBA season was completed. Clippers chairman Steve Ballmer, president of business operations Gillian Zucker and Inglewood mayor James T. Butts were on hand for the occasion, along with 650 construction crew members.