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New details of Clippers' proposed Inglewood arena complex revealed

The arena complex the Clippers want to build in Inglewood would include a practice facility, sports medicine clinic, team offices, retail space and a large outdoor plaza with basketball courts that are open to the public.

The details were included in the notice of preparation of a draft environmental impact report the city published Tuesday.

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"Today marks the beginning of the environmental review to bring a world-class basketball arena, practice facility and new team headquarters for the L.A. Clippers to the City of Inglewood," Chris Meany, project manager for the area, said in a statement. "We look forward to a transparent and robust public process that engages the residents and stakeholders of Inglewood."

Described as the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center, the privately-financed project would be spread across three general areas along West Century Boulevard.

The largest portion, at the intersection of South Prairie Avenue and West Century, would house the 18,000-seat arena and related structures. Parking and possibly a hotel would occupy other parcels.

About 85% of the project site, 23 acres, is vacant. The five occupied parcels in the area include Church's Chicken and the Rodeway Inn & Suites, in addition to a warehouse and light manufacturing facilities.

The city and related entities own 84% of the parcels that would make up the project.

The Clippers announced plans in June to explore building an arena in Inglewood. The City Council quickly approved a 36-month exclusive negotiating agreement with a team-controlled company, Murphy's Bowl LLC. To help cover associated costs, the company gave the city a nonrefundable $1.5-million deposit.

While the Clippers' lease at Staples Center runs through 2024, owner Steve Ballmer hasn't been shy about wanting an arena of his own to innovate, improve the fan experience and not be relegated to the third pick of game dates, as the Clippers currently are behind the Lakers and Kings.

The proposed project has drawn criticism — and legal action against the city — from the Madison Square Garden Co., the New York-based sports and entertainment giant which owns the nearby Forum. MSG claims another arena would violate its development agreement with Inglewood, something the city denies.

Though Tuesday's notice is short on details, the nine-page document provides the most details to date about the arena. In addition to hosting basketball games, the arena could be the site of 100 to 150 concerts, corporate gatherings and similar events each year.

The practice facility would be 85,000 square feet, the team offices 55,000 square feet and the sports medicine clinic 25,000 square feet. An additional 40,000 square feet are set aside for retail and 260,000 square feet for the outdoor plaza.

The document raises the possibility that pedestrian bridges across West Century could connect the arena project to the adjacent 298-acre sports and entertainment district Rams owner Stan Kroenke is building.

The environmental review process is expected to take 18 months.

Follow Nathan Fenno on Twitter @nathanfenno

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