Forum owners claim Inglewood misled them on Clippers arena deal

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- There are new developments in a sporting spat now deep into the legal trenches in Inglewood.

Mayor James Butts is responding to a recent lawsuit alleging he and the city misled the owners of the Forum while making plans for a new Los Angeles Clippers arena.

"That's ludicrous and ridiculous," Butts said.

Madison Square Garden, which owns the Forum, says it was convinced by the mayor over a year ago to give up its lease on a rarely used parking lot property near Century and Prairie so Inglewood could build a technology park.

The company said the city later announced the 15 acres, adjacent to the new NFL stadium, was part of the new 18,000-seat arena. "The city deserves to do anything it can to support the economy for the residents of our city," Butts said.

The Forum is describing the city's plan as direct competition for concerts and other events, claiming it's a violation of the city's agreement.

"I'm confident, I read the contract, we're right," said the city's special counsel Skip Miller. "There is no exclusivity-free concert arena in the city of Inglewood."

The city is calling the lawsuit a sham, saying America is built on competition.

"Frankly, I look forward to our day in court. Usually a defendant doesn't say that, but I'm saying here, bring it on," said Miller.
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