The Madison Square Garden Co has struck a deal with the City of Ingelwood and the Faithful Central Bible Church to buy the iconic LA venue for $23.5 million and plans to begin renovations this year — promising a redo along the lines of the company’s refurbishments of its NY venues Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre and most recently Madison Square Garden. The purchase gives MSG high-profile live-event venues on each coast, joining NY’s The Garden. Miller Tabak analyst David Joyce welcomed the deal, saying the Forum should be a “good economic West Coast outpost” for live music events, which also can help [MSG’s] Fuse music network. The Forum deal announced today includes commitments from the company including annual minimum ticket sales guarantees, providing local hiring opportunities, and rent-free uses of the the arena by the city for charitable causes and the parking lot for a weekly farmers market.
The Forum opened in 1967 and was home to the LA Lakers and LA Kings before those franchises moved downtown to Staples Center in 1999; it had been a vital concert venue, hosting every major act, but that has waned recently as the venue has mostly hosted TV shoots and church events. “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,” MSG executive chairman James Dolan said.