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Steve Ballmer: ‘Toilets, toilets, toilets’

Steve Ballmer: ‘Toilets, toilets, toilets’


A passionate man finds a new obsession

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LA Clippers Break Ground on Intuit Dome
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Since leaving Microsoft, ex-CEO Steve Ballmer has devoted his life to the Los Angeles Clippers, transferring his enthusiastic, often scary keynote energy into pure, sport-oriented hype. But what about his passions? What’s replaced Windows “developers, developers, developers” in the heart of the man who’s spending around $1.8 billion to build the new Intuit Dome arena in Inglewood? One word: toilets (via ZDNet).

“I’ve become a real obsessive about toilets,” Ballmer shared at the groundbreaking for the new arena. “Toilets, toilets, toilets.” To be fair to the enterprise software evangelist turned NBA chairman, it does seem like the Intuit Dome will have a lot of them — one toilet for every 27 seats in the arena’s upper deck, The Washington Post writes, “an unmatched ratio in the NBA.” The ballooning costs for the complex, which includes space for the Clipper’s training facility and business offices, could reportedly cost over $2 billion.

Ballmer’s new dome sounds like a predictably over-the-top affair. The arena will feature a gigantic, 44,000-square-foot LED scoreboard, a concession stand concept that sounds a lot like Amazon’s cashier-less Go stores, and a collection of 51 rows of baseline seats dubbed “The Wall” that Ballmer hopes will rival Fenway Park’s Green Monster in terms of recognizability.

But really, it’s all about the toilets. “The architects keep getting on me. You’re supposed to call them ‘fixtures’ instead of toilets. But it’s the same thing,” Ballmer says. “We’re putting a whole lot more toilets than anyone else in the NBA.”