Renovation planned for event venue

The Forum in Inglewood has been purchased by the Madison Square Garden Co., which intends to renovate the arena this year to use in large part as a West Coast base for the New York-based company’s staging of concerts.

The former home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings has been used as a congregational hall and venue for concerts and television shoots (including ”American Idol” and ”The Voice”) ever since those teams left for Staples Center in 1999. MSG acquired the Forum for $23.5 million in a deal with the City of Inglewood and Faithful Central Bible Church. Officially, the seller was the church-owned for-profit corporation Forum Enterprises.

”We are honored to be adding the Forum to our iconic list of venues, and to call Inglewood our West Coast home,” MSG exec chairman James L. Dolan said. ”We look forward to building on the Forum’s outstanding legacy in music, and to utilizing our expertise to ensure it once again becomes a thriving destination for both artists and music fans, as well as an active member of the Inglewood community.”

The acquisition ”presents a unique opportunity for our company from both a strategic and economic perspective,” MSG prexy and CEO Hank J. Ratner said.

”The addition of the Forum is a perfect complement to the Madison Square Garden Arena,” said Ratner. ”It now allows us to have world-class venues in both New York and Los Angeles, linking the top two entertainment markets in the country. The addition of the Forum also enhances Fuse, our national music network, by providing access to top performers from our iconic venues on both coasts.”

MSG has promised Inglewood a minimum level of annual ticket sales and a workforce outreach program to ensure the Forum maintains a level of economic impact for the city, as well as rent-free use of the Forum for charitable causes, including an ongoing farmers’ market in the parking lot.

”The renovation of the Forum will not only benefit music fans throughout Greater Los Angeles, but is also a long-term investment in the future of the city of Inglewood,” Inglewood mayor James T. Butts said.

MSG said that specific details about the Forum renovation and future usage plans would be announced in the fall. Past musical performers there have included Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, the Jackson 5, Bob Dylan, Madonna and Van Halen.

”We have a proven track record of successfully restoring and renovating our historic venues,” Ratner said of MSG, ”including the restoration of Radio City Music Hall in 1999 and the Beacon Theatre in 2009, as well as our current transformation of the Garden, which is in the process of being turned into one of the world’s most spectacular arenas. We will bring the same attention to detail to our renovation of the Forum, resulting in a world-class venue that will be the place for music in Los Angeles.”

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