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Report: Steve Ballmer Interested In Moving Clippers To New LA Site

LOS ANGELES ( — Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is interested in moving the team to a new Los Angeles arena, sources told ESPN Wednesday.

The team has narrowed the search to six potential LA County sites, ESPN reported. A Westside location has reportedly piqued the team's interest.

The Clippers have played at Staples Center since the arena opened in 1999, sharing the building with the Lakers and Kings. The team's lease runs through June 2024, according to ESPN.

Ballmer purchased the Clippers in 2014 and has said unequivocally he plans to keep the team in Los Angeles.

But he has expressed misgivings about sharing Staples with the Lakers and Kings, telling the LA Times at one point that the Clippers are the "third team in," meaning they are often third-in-line for scheduling purposes.

Staples Center is owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which controls revenue from selling naming rights and concessions. By developing their own arena, the Clippers could lay claim to those profits.

Ballmer, a former Microsoft CEO, has expressed a desire to develop new technology for a Clippers arena. Among other innovations, he's interested in testing an augmented reality arena experience, ESPN said, citing a speech he gave recently at a sports and technology summit.

The new arena would likely also encompass a training facility and office space, since the Clippers don't own their facilities in Playa Vista, ESPN's Arash Markazi said.

The arena likely wouldn't open until at least 2024, ESPN reported. Of course, Los Angeles is courting a 2024 Olympics, and local officials think a new arena could help LA make its case to host the games, Markazi reported.

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