Clippers owner Steve Ballmer in negotiations to buy the Forum

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The Forum in Inglewood is a 17,500-seat arena that opened in 1967.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The Forum in Inglewood is seen in this undated photo. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

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Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is in negotiations with the owner of the Forum to purchase the Inglewood arena, according to a person familiar with the talks who is not authorized to speak publicly.

Ballmer is in the process of trying to build a $1-billion arena for the Clippers near the Forum that triggered multiple lawsuits, including three by Forum owner Madison Square Garden Co. Purchasing the Forum would remove one big obstacle in Ballmer’s pursuit of his proposed arena.

“The Clippers continue to pursue plans to build a state-of-the-art, 18,000-seat basketball arena and entertainment complex in Inglewood and are currently working with the city to successfully complete the comprehensive Environmental Impact Report,” the team said in a statement. “We are examining every possible way to resolve our differences with Madison Square Garden Co. regarding our new arena.”

MSG has two additional pending lawsuits in relation to the arena — dozens of key figures from the Clippers, MSG and Inglewood have been deposed — and has paid the legal fees for a community group that’s also suing.

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