According to insiders, the Los Angeles Clippers are looking to move out of the Staples Center in downtown L.A. Apparently, the potential move is related to the financial aspects of being one of the facility's tenants.
The Staples Center first opened in 1999 and has been the home of the Los Angeles Lakers. The team also shares the facility with the Clippers and the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings. However, the Clippers reportedly feel that being the third tenant of the arena, which is owned by the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), hinders their earning potential, ESPN reported.
Specifically, AEG benefits most from the revenues earned by the center such as sales from concession stands and reservations from events. But aside from these, AEG also hold full control of the naming rights and other activities that take place inside the facility.
Apparently, this is a problem that the Clippers have been encountering since last year.
"We're third guy in, we have third choice in dates," Clippers owner Steve Ballmer told the Los Angeles Times in 2015. "If you are a good businessman, you don't come to the end of your lease and say, 'I have no options, landlord, please take me to the woodshed and beat me.' We'll have options."
But, despite wanting to move away from the Staples Center, this doesn't automatically mean that Ballmer will be taking the team away from Los Angeles, according to Lakers Nation. As noted by insiders, one area that the team is interested in relocating in is somewhere in the west side of the city. However, it is not yet clear which arena the team will be moving in.
However, since Ballmer is adamant on maintaining control, this could mean that the Clippers are actually looking to build a facility of their own. That way, they'll be in control of their earnings as well as the entire usage of the arena.
But then again, it is not yet confirmed if the Clippers will really move out of the Staples Center since neither the team's executives nor representatives from AEG have released an official statement about the matter.