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Los Angeles Clippers to host 2026 All-Star Game at new Intuit Dome

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, center, cheers during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Clippers and the Phoenix Suns Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — The NBA is bringing the 2026 All-Star Game to the Los Angeles Clippers’ new arena, which is set to open in time for the 2024-25 season.

“I was giddy when I heard it was possible and even giddier when the NBA said we were getting it,” said Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, who attended Tuesday’s announcement inside the under-construction Intuit Dome in Inglewood.

Commissioner Adam Silver spent an hour touring the building with Ballmer earlier in the day. The Clippers plan to move in by June and open the building in August.

"The good news is there will be a season here before we play the All-Star Game, so there will be an opportunity to make sure everything is up to grade,” Silver said. “It would have been a riskier proposition if we announced an All-Star Game going into the very next season."

Silver said Intuit Dome will be the basketball venue for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

“I think everyone knows he likes things loud," he said, referring to Ballmer. "It’s going to be loud in here. It’s this incredible experience.”

Ballmer and Silver spoke on the floor of the arena to a soundtrack of clanging and sawing as construction continued around them.

“We said, ‘Could we stop the sawing for eight minutes?’” Silver said, “And they said no.”

The privately financed arena will house all of the Clippers’ basketball and business operations, with an eye on landing major events.

The first will be the 75th edition of All-Star weekend.

The event returns to Southern California for the first time since 2018, when it was played in downtown Los Angeles at the arena formerly known as Staples Center. It will be the seventh All-Star Game in the area, with two having been held at the Forum in Inglewood.

The weekend begins Feb. 13, 2026, with the Rising Stars game for top rookies and second-year players at Intuit Dome.

The All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 14 includes the skills, 3-point and slam dunk contests. The All-Star Game will be Feb. 15.

Other related events will be held at the Ballmer-owned Kia Forum and the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Silver said the Lakers opted not to be part of the festivities because of other events already booked into Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles.

Indianapolis will host next month and San Francisco is the site in 2025 at Chase Center, the Golden State Warriors’ arena that opened in 2019.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba