Software provider Intuit will pay $500 million for the naming rights to the LA Clippers new arena. That 23-year contract set a record in the NBA. Meanwhile, the Intuit Dome will set another record — one for the highest toilet ratio in the league.
The LA Clippers currently play at the Staples Center, an arena they share with the LA Lakers and LA Sparks. But that wasn’t sitting well with billionaire owner Steve Ballmer.
“We’re our own guys. We don’t play in the same place as the other guys. We’re going to have our own identity,” Ballmer told ESPN.
But that privilege comes at a cost. The venue is slated to cost roughly $1.8 billion. The Clippers broke ground for the new arena on Friday. The 18,000-seat venue will be ready for the 2024 season.
Can Intuit Avoid the Naming Rights Curse?
Intuit, the company known for its tax preparation software, will pay the Clippers more than $500 million for the arena’s naming rights.
In general, naming rights are long-term, expensive, commitments. So, it should be no surprise that some companies have run into financial trouble before the end of their contracts. But the sheer number of high-profile bankruptcies among stadium namesakes have led to the notion of a stadium-naming curse.
Perhaps the most cursed stadium name was Enron Field, home of the Houston Astros. The energy trading company blew up in spectacular fashion. just two years into its 30-year naming rights contract. CMGI was also a short-timer. CMGI’s naming rights deal was announced in 2000. But the tech company went bust even before the completion of the Patriots new stadium.
Other companies that folded after signing naming rights deals include Pro Player/Fruit of the Loom (Dolphins and Marlins home venue), Adelphia (Titans), and Sports Authority (Broncos). The latest victim of the stadium-naming curse was Chesapeake Energy Corporation (Thunder). Chesapeake Energy lost its naming rights due to bankruptcy earlier this year.
Even though Intuit is a thriving, public company, there are some risks to the Intuit naming rights deal. Twenty-three years is a long time for any financial commitment. Intuit just made two massive acquisitions. It bought Credit Karma for $8.1 billion last year and just acquired Mailchimp for $12 billion. Meanwhile, some argue that LA’s second team, itself, cursed. But perhaps the Clippers’ jinx will be broken, with help from its new state-of-the-art arena.
More Toilets and More Noise
Billionaire Clippers’ owner Ballmer is sparing no expense on the Intuit Dome. Along with the game court, the arena will feature two team practice courts and two practice courts for fans. There will also be a massive 80,000-sqare foot outdoor plaza.
Although two most notable excesses slated for the Intuit Dome may be noise and bathroom facilities. The Intuit Dome is planning to have more toilets per fan than any other NBA venue.
— Masta Red Snappa (@MastaRedSnappa) September 17, 2021
The venue is also striving to be the loudest NBA venue. Along with 60 suites, 10 bungalows and four cabanas, the venue is planning to build “The Wall.” The Wall will have 51 uninterrupted rows of seats right behind the opponent’s basket. The Wall will seat 5,000, very loud, fans.