Inglewood City Council Authorizes Eminent Domain for Clippers Arena


Despite objections that the project would displace homes and churches, the Inglewood City Council voted to authorize the use of eminent domain to clear space for the future Clippers basketball arena. To add ire to an already controversial decision, the arena is a private project that will be used to host a privately owned organization. Nevertheless, attorneys for the city decided the site qualified for public use because it offers “access to amusement, enjoyment, and recreation.”

Ultimately, only 3 of the 11 properties affected by the use of eminent domain were active – 2 warehouses and 1 Church’s Chicken location. The other 8 structures were vacant or used for billboards.

Critics of the decision hold fast that the Clippers project is contributing to the city’s problems. As the Uplift Inglewood Coalition explains:

Inglewood already lacks affordable housing and this project would exacerbate the housing crisis, displacing families, and promoting gentrification… It simply does not make any sense to prioritize an NBA arena over the needs of Inglewood residents. Public land should be used for the public good, and access to housing is central to building strong communities.”

Before voting, the Inglewood City Council heard public testimony from property owners who refused offers sent in late 2020. In total, the Clippers will purchase 22 acres of land for the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center (IBEC), which will include an 18,500-seat stadium, an 85,000-square-foot training facility, office space, a medical clinic, an outdoor plaza, retail space, dining, restrooms, security, 2 parking garages, and a hotel.

Proponents of the project argue:

Construction of the arena will promote the city as a ‘premier regional sports and entertainment center,’ bring an NBA team back to the city, stimulate the local economy, provide publicly accessible space, and spur $100 million in community benefits.”

Because Inglewood chose to use eminent domain, a jury will determine the fair market value of the properties in question, and the Clippers will have to pay whatever amount the jury decides. The Clippers may also be responsible for relocation costs and the financial impact of moving on the businesses and property owners – but only if those business and property owners hire good attorneys to represent their interests.

Facing an Eminent Domain Case?

If you find yourself subject to eminent domain, turn to Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP for the legal help you need. We have been guiding people like you through eminent domain cases since 1987, and we’ve handled situations similar to this one. In fact, our firm was special counsel for the San Diego Padres while Petco Park was underway.

We understand the issues involved and how to handle eminent domain fairly for all parties involved.

Call us at (888) 998-2031 or contact us online today to help ensure your eminent domain case works in your favor.