L.A. Clippers Partner With Intuit And Plan High-Tech Intuit Dome

Before construction even begins on the new NBA court for the Los Angeles Clippers, it has one name: The Intuit INTU -1.3 percent Dome. The date coincides with September. 17 groundbreaking ceremony for the 18,000-capacity Inglewood arena that is set to begin operations in 2024. Clippers and the financial-software company Intuit announced a 23 year agreement to name the dome.

It’s not an arena or center. It’s the dome. “I enjoy the concept of the dome,” declares Steve Ballmer, Clippers chairman. “It is more original, more exciting. We’re working to create an NBA mecca here. We wanted to create a type of statement, and that’s why we decided to go to the dome. Our name is Intuit Dome.”

Intuit is a California-based business that has had several opportunities to collaborate with a sports venue sponsor over the past two decades. However, Sasan Goodarzi, the CEO, claims that it was a “big choice” and is more focused on aligning his business goals with an organization that is a sports league. “This isn’t just about getting our logo on a building, although we’ve had the chance to accomplish this,” he says. “It is more about the importance of customers, fans, staying technologically advanced, and the community.”

Goodarzi states that the partnership between Intuit and Clippers will bring together two teams that are passionate about serving customers and committed to their fans, all in the pursuit of improving the community. In addition to the rights to the name, Intuit and the Clippers are hoping to develop new programs that can boost the local economy and support local companies by creating jobs, increasing job readiness, and training entrepreneurs to assist them in running their businesses and change their financial situation.

Outside of the location, Intuit will expand its Prosperity Hub School District program to educate students about finance and entrepreneurship by committing an additional 1 million in the coming three years for under-served districts in schools. This follows the company’s July 2021 gift for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Intuit will also offer taxpayer assistance programs to help prepare and file tax returns for free for low-income families within the region. It will provide hold educational seminars for local entrepreneurs as well as small business owners. “We are united (with the Clippers) in what is most important to our customers and fans as well as the impact on the group and the importance of being tech ahead,” Goodarzi says.

You can expect to see lots of marketing in the Intuit Dome based on its products that range from QuickBooks and Turbo Tax and Mailchimp to Credit Karma. In the beginning, Intuit plans to encourage customers to sign up for its Credit Karma Money service to purchase items in Intuit Dome. The venue won’t open until three years. However, the partnership is in place now and will be a part of the community and further marketing at Staples Center, the current home of the Clippers.

Ballmer claims that having the naming rights provider in place before the start building was probably the best option he could have done for Intuit. “This will be our new building, but it’s also our building together with Intuit, which is why it’s important that they were there for the launch,” he says. The new arena in California wasn’t required for Intuit, which was reported to have committed around $500 million to the deal. Nor was it necessary to build a new facility. However, they were fortunate circumstances. “We are thrilled that this was the first time that our name is mentioned on a building and that it’s brand new construction that is equipped with the latest and most advanced technological advances,” Goodarzi says. “They are all wonderful things, but they are not the primary factor. This was just the perfect alignment. We had a variety of options but decided that the Clippers team was the best one. It’s a perfect fit.”

The Intuit Dome is driven by technology.

Ballmer represents the intensity. He would like the seating bowl inside his dome that he owns to reflect his. Therefore, under his guidance, AECOM has designed the AECOM design to bring seats closer to the court and emphasize comfort.

Intuit Dome’s unique feature is that it has the soccer-themed “The Wall” comprised of 51 rows of seats behind the baseline that can accommodate more than 5,000 fans. The massive rake of this section means that a seat on row 20 in The Wall can be 45ft farther away–almost an NBA half-court–than one who sits at the same level across the baseline at Staples Center. The Wall should also allow fans to view the row that is in the distance in front of them. Ballmer has brought in audio experts from his recently bought L.A. Forum to help improve the sound quality of the arena to ensure The Wall wasn’t just about the number of fans in the area and acoustic–and audio-related benefit for the Clippers.

The videos of basketball and soccer arenas in Europe offered Ballmer many instances of “this amazing wall, and I was just awed by the idea” enough to take it to the new location he has chosen to call home. “Yes, the decibel study and that sort of thing, but I think the visual impact could be intimidating and also an advantage for those who play at home,” he says.

To make the experience more comfortable, Ballmer says he’s ensured the biggest legroom of any stadium inside the NBA and that seats within the top bowls of Intuit Dome. Intuit Dome will be more spacious than those in the lower bowl of Staples Center.

Ballmer is keen on putting fans to be in their seats, giving them the ultimate home-court advantage. To be easier for them to get there and ensure they stay longer, he’s installed over 1,500 touchless bathroom fixtures inside the building, which doubles the number of toilets per person. These fixtures are also low-flow and use recycled water to increase 95% of the total water used compared to another arena. Concessions will have technology that lets your customers grab and go without the need for checkout lines.

Inside the bowl, AECOM designed the Intuit Dome’s roof specifically to allow 44,000 square feet of LED lighting, which is a whole acre inside the two-sided halo panel without obstructing the view lines.

The new home of the L.A. Clippers, the Intuit Dome.

The seating options include four premium clubs, which comprise 3,800 seats in the lower bowl, 14 court-level suites, and 46 suites set in the horseshoe pattern at a single level above that bowl. The 14 court-level options comprise four courtside cabanas located right behind the seats in which Ballmer is located (opposite The Wall) and have privacy glass lined the tunnel for players in the back. The ten backstage bungalows situated on the opposite side of the benches comprise the remainder of the suits on the floor and offer a complete luxury option that includes an exclusive suite on the ground level that has direct access to the seating in the bowl below. The 46 halo suites above the bowl below were created to blend in with the overall design so that sound doesn’t escape when placing holders for suites in the bowl. They are not removed from the bowl. Outside, an 80,000-square-foot plaza will have restaurants, bars as well as a team store. A regulation-sized basketball court with a big screen that the Clippers claim will be utilized in local teams of young players and AAU tournaments. Inside Court, B is a copy of the central court and can be used for charity and community events.

The solar panels of the Intuit Dome and the battery storage on-site provide enough energy and storage to power the NBA Finals game off-the-grid.

If fans walk through onto the field and enter the concourse, 199 game clocks with vibrant red numbers will keep them thinking of the game and bringing them back to their seats quickly.

“I would like to ensure that everyone is aware of when they have to get back in their seats to support the team members,” Ballmer says. “The most important option for your team is to be at your seat and cheer. I don’t want anyone to be unclear about how long it will take to get sitting in the seat.”

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Adam Collins
Adam writes about technology, business and economics. With master's degree in Economics, he's presented six papers in international conferences. As a solivagant in the constant state of fernweh, curiosity is the main weapon in his arsenal.

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