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LA Clippers-Intuit strike $500 million-plus arena naming rights deal


New LA Clippers arena.

Source: LA Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers announced on Friday a sponsorship deal with financial software company Intuit, which will hold title rights to the team’s new $1.2 billion arena, scheduled to open in Inglewood in 2024.

Intuit Dome will be the name of the Clippers’ new arena. This is to increase brand awareness and provide signage around the all-electric, 18,000-seat venue.

Intuit The company is a financial technology and management firm that trades on Nasdaq with a market capitalization of $156.4 billion. TurboTax and Credit Karma are just a few of the company’s offerings.

Although the terms of the agreement with Clippers are not public, National Basketball Association sources informed CNBC that the 23-year deal exceeds $500,000,000.

By comparison, Chase Bank struck a 20-year, roughly $300 million naming-rights deal with the Golden State Warriors. And Staples paid entertainment firm AEG over $100 million when it struck its naming-rights agreement for the downtown Los Angeles building in 1999. The company renewed the pact in 2009 and now has lifetime rights to the Staples Center, which is currently home to the Lakers and Clippers.

CNBC, along with other media outlets, was shown a glimpse of Intuit Dome by Steve Ballmer (Clippers owner) and Gillian Zucker (team president). It will have a Halo videoboard that can be viewed on both sides. There are 44,000 feet of LED lighting. Fans can also purchase concessions without having to use cash or cards.

New LA Clippers arena

Source: LA Clippers

The Clippers estimate the Intuit Dome will generate roughly $260 million in annual economic activity for Inglewood, including over 7,000 full-time and part-time jobs. Clippers have also pledged $100 million to community benefits packages that include investment in libraries, housing, after-school programs and services for seniors. Friday will see the official opening of Intuit Dome.

CNBC’s Ballmer said that he was proud to have created a product. But we’re here to celebrate, and it’s still three years until this thing is complete,” Ballmer said. “We are just at an important milestone.”

Ballmer stated that the arena’s exterior is emblematic of a basketball bouncing through a net. The National Football League concept was also a passion for Ballmer, who said he is excited about “pioneering feeling of end-zone suits.” Four courtside cabanas will be used by the Intuit Dome, located directly behind Ballmer’s courtside baseline. It will also include 10 backstage bungalows — private suites on the floor level.

Ballmer explained that the stadium is all about feeling optimistic about your team.

“It’s about being optimistic about our fans — get in the building, pump up, make energy,” Ballmer added, clapping his hands as if he just experienced a game-winning shot. We need your energy to make our team more successful.

‘Home-court advantage’

The Intuit Dome didn’t come cheap.

Aside from the over $1 billion cost, the former Microsoft CEO paid $66.2 million for the land and $400 million in cash to purchase the Forum in Inglewood from Madison Square Garden Co. last year. It freed Ballmer from legal battles with MSG, the company led by fellow NBA team owner James Dolan, that threatened construction. 

The Forum used to be the home of the Lakers from 1967 to 1999. MSG bought The Forum in 2012 for $23.5million.

Clippers also will benefit from more revenue generated by their new building. The team makes roughly $262 million, according to Forbes. When it opens, Intuit Dome can help boost that number.

Zucker stated that the building will be used to attract NBA free agents. Intuit Dome will host the Clippers business operations as well as the team practice site. This will be near the top, and will have two basketball courts.

There is a lot to be done in the NBA. Zucker stated that the NBA wants to be the best place for players to play. This is all about having home-court advantage.