SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a huge step forward for the proposed LA Clippers arena, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee have certified that the state-of-the-art Inglewood project will be “net-zero” for greenhouse gases over its construction period and operational life.
The approvals mean that the proposed LA Clippers arena complex has achieved the most stringent environmental standards for a sports venue in the state’s history. The certifications follow a similar determination in November by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
The proposed Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center, at the intersection of West Century Boulevard and South Prairie Avenue, includes an 18,000-seat arena, the Clippers’ team offices, practice facility, sports medicine clinic, and an outdoor plaza with community, retail and restaurant uses.
“These approvals recognize the Clippers’ strong commitment to responding to climate change, which includes far-reaching, environmentally friendly measures that exceed legal requirements and set a precedent over previous arena projects in California,” said Chris Meany, lead developer on the project.
The environmental standards for the Inglewood project – which exceed what CARB required of new professional basketball arenas in San Francisco and Sacramento – will produce direct benefits to Inglewood residents and neighboring communities. That’s because, unlike other certified environmental leadership projects, at least half of all greenhouse gas reductions must be achieved through measures undertaken locally.
Meany said the requirements are “unprecedented” and reflect the Clippers’ commitment to do what’s right for Inglewood.
“We’re not just here to build a state-of-the-art basketball arena and campus,” said Meany. “We want to make sure that all citizens of Inglewood benefit from having the Clippers as a new neighbor. The fact that we agreed to these unprecedented measures proves it.”
The sign-offs from Sacramento come after an intensive 11-month regulatory review and qualify the project for expedited judicial review if its approvals are challenged in court. Next up is the City of Inglewood’s environmental review. If approved, the arena would open in time for the 2024-2025 NBA season.
The arena project will be LEED Gold certified, meaning it achieves rigorous, internationally recognized environmental standards for building performance. Its sustainability measures include:
- A “Zero Waste” program to reduce and divert waste from landfills.
- An on-site solar energy generation system that will produce more than 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year and extensive use of “green” (i.e., renewable) energy sources.
- Replacement of 10 Inglewood municipal fleet vehicles with zero-emission cars or vans.
- Providing zero-emission vehicles for local transit service in Inglewood.
- A program to plant 1,000 new trees in nearby neighborhoods.
- A program to purchase and install 1,000 electric vehicle chargers for residences in Inglewood and the surrounding area.
- 330 on-site electrical vehicle chargers and 20 additional publicly available chargers within Inglewood.
- Smart parking systems to more efficiently direct vehicles to parking spaces, reducing vehicle emissions.
A comprehensive transportation demand management program that will reduce event-related and other project vehicle trips by 15%. Key elements of this program include:
- Encouraging fans to use mass transit by providing shuttle service from three Metro stations and incentives such as integrated event and transit ticketing, discounted event tickets, and reward programs for transit users.
- Providing park-and-ride charter bus service from locations throughout the region.
- Incentives to encourage the use of zero-emission vehicles, carpools, vanpools, and alternative forms of transportation.
- A local minibus/microtransit service for all event days.
In addition to the environmental features of the complex, the project will bring a host of economic and community benefits to Inglewood, including:
- A $100 million community benefits package that includes $75 million to fund development and preservation of affordable housing projects in Inglewood, $5.5 million to support first-time homebuyers and renters, and $19.5 million for a wide range of youth and family programs, including after-school, college advising, senior, and recreation programs, and funding for the improvement of a library complex.
- 7,500 high-paying construction jobs and an estimated 1,500 permanent jobs once the complex is open and operating beginning in the fall of 2024.
- Local hire goals are in place to help fill 30% of the construction jobs and 35% of arena operation jobs with Inglewood area residents.
- The project also has a local minority and disadvantaged-business enterprises goal of 30% during the construction phase of the project.