After sharing with the Lakers for years, the Clippers move to the Intuit Dome in 2024.getty images
Just two blocks away from Crypto.com Arena, the L.A. Clippers’ Intuit Dome Experience Center was quiet on a recent Monday afternoon. A Clippers employee showed a visitor around the space, which includes models of the premium seating areas and a miniature version of the 44,000-square-foot halo board that will be in the arena; the miniature is huge itself, at 360 square feet.
The Clippers have played at Crypto.com Arena for the past 23 years, but that relationship will end in 2024 when the team moves to its new $2 billion home in Inglewood. The benefits for Steve Ballmer’s organization will be immense, allowing them to grow their business in nearly every way and step out of the figurative shadow of their co-tenants and rivals, the Lakers.
It’s less clear what impact the Clippers’ exit will have on Crypto.com Arena, especially since their departure coincides with a significant renovation of the arena. As a tenant, the Clippers pay rent, and they take a cut of club seating revenue from their games. But the renovation could help make up for those losses with improved, higher-priced premium settings.
“There are so many variables to consider,” said Lee Zeidman, president of Crypto.com Arena, about having one less tenant. “There will be a financial impact. It could be positive.”
Potential benefits at the current arena include more open calendar dates to fill with lucrative concerts or tentpole events, fewer changeovers (and the accompanying paid labor), and vacated Clippers-specific space that will be transformed during the renovation project. Full details are expected to be announced this summer.
“Their departure presents us opportunities to do some things in the arena, not just on the calendar but in the arena itself,” said AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman. “I see it as an opportunity for all of us.”
Intuit Dome will bring even more venue competition to an already crowded Southern California sports and entertainment market. In 2020, SoFi Stadium and YouTube Theater were added to a mix that already included Anaheim’s Honda Center, the Rose Bowl, L.A. Coliseum, Banc of California Stadium and Dodger Stadium, not to mention the dozens of music-specific venues dotting the region, including The Forum, which is owned by Ballmer.
The Clippers’ long relationship with Crypto.com Arena means they’re well acquainted with how the AEG-owned venue attracts shows, how much it pays, and its operating best practices.
“They have insight into what we’re booking here because they see our calendar and they’re a competitor at The Forum going for the same acts,” said Zeidman. “So, it’s a balancing act, and it’s very interesting.”
The Intuit Dome’s opening also will spark a new competition for the region’s venue management talent. Around 15 executives report directly to Zeidman, the majority of whom have been at AEG for more than 10 years.
When SoFi Stadium and YouTube Theater opened in Inglewood two years ago, Zeidman lost around 10 people from his staff to jobs at the new venues, and he’s fully expecting the Clippers to consider some of his top people again in the coming years.