INGLEWOOD, Calif. — After sharing an arena with the Lakers and Kings for nearly 25 years, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer wanted to focus on fan experience when thinking about the Clippers’ brand-new $2 billion home, the Intuit Dome , which will open in Inglewood before the start of the 2024-2025 NBA season.
About a year and a half ago Ballmer brought the players to what was still dirt in an empty plot of land. On Tuesday, Ballmer and the rest of the organization held the ceremonial raising of the final steel beam into the Intuit Dome’s ceiling and gave the team an exclusive tour inside of their new home.
The Intuit Dome will be the latest and most modern incarnation of fan-interactive arenas. Although right now, the frame has just barely been completed with chalk outlines where the court will eventually be laid.
One of the features Ballmer is most proud of is a standing section with vertical seats in what will be known as the “Wall of Sound”.
“Fifty-one straight rows, steep as hell. Only Clipper fans allowed,” announced Ballmer. “(We) are trying to do really, like almost a student section of excitement on this side.”
In order to keep “The Wall” limited to Clippers fans, employees will check such things as social media to ensure someone is a dedicated fan of the Clippers.
As a former Microsoft CEO, Ballmer found a way unique to combine innovative tech and a heightened fan experience. For example, there will be a chip located in each seat to detect when a fan gets up or sits back down.
Concession stand lines will also be a thing of the past inside of the Inuit Dome. Visitors will be able to pluck items from the new smart concession stands.
The Intuit Dome will also have the largest double-sided Halo Board and closer upper-bowl seats than any other arena in the league. However, Ballmer had one particular fan necessity he stressed most.
“Toilets! Eleven hundred and sixty toilets and urinals; ,three times the NBA average number of toilets and urinals,” exclaimed Ballmer. “We do not want people waiting in line. We want them to get back to their damn seats.”
That desire to get fans cheering during game time was enhanced even further with the 199 clocks in the arena counting down every break. When the clock sounds, the quarter breaks or halftime ends, lights will begin to flash throughout the venue to alert fans to return to their seats.
With the help of Ballmer’s detailed vision the Clippers won’t have to wait much longer for a state-of-the-art home of their own.