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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has reached an agreement with the Madison Square Garden Company to buy The Forum in Inglewood, California, for $400 million in cash.

Why it matters: The purchase removes the biggest hurdle in Ballmer's plan to build a privately financed 18,000-seat arena near The Forum, which will continue to function as a music venue.

  • Worth noting: The Clippers are under contract to play at Staples Center, which they share with the Lakers and Kings, through June 2024, so the move to Inglewood is at least four years away.

The big picture: The Forum was home to the Lakers from 1967 to 1999, an era in which the franchise won six NBA titles and built a modern sports dynasty.

  • It is now owned by the Clippers, who have the richest owner in American sports and have been determined to build a home of their own since he bought the team from the disgraced Donald Sterling in 2014.
  • Though they won't play any games in The Forum, the fact that the Clippers now own the arena and plan to build an entertainment complex and community center on Lakers' hallowed ground symbolizes the shifting tide.

The bottom line: The Lakers still own L.A., but the Clippers are hell-bent on redefining their place in the city — and a new arena will do wonders as they carve out a new identity and stake their claim to a new neighborhood.

P.S. ... James Dolan bought The Forum for $23.5 million in 2012, invested $75 million in renovations and sold it for $400 million eight years later.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.