It has been a long time since music legends as storied as Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and the Jackson 5, held the stage at the Forum in Inglewood. But with a $100 million infusion by its new owners, the Forum is poised to make a comeback. The Madison Square Garden Company, which acquired the Forum from Faithful Central Bible Church last year for $23.5 million, unveiled its major renovation plans for the historic venue this week.
The changes include 8,000 square feet of new hospitality areas, seating for 17,500 that can be converted to a half bowl of 8,000 and the original color of “California sunset red” to be restored to its exterior. It will be a music venue only, but one that is destined to attract large crowds once again. Since its opening in 1967, the Forum has been an iconic fixture in Los Angeles. Some of the most memorable basketball showdowns were held there as well with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar riveting the crowds with their moves. The 70s and 80s were a golden era for the Forum and it became recognizable from coast to coast. But it suffered from competition from the downtown Staples Center. For the past few years, few if any musical acts graced its halls and the Lakers were now ghosts of a bygone era.
The renovation is also expected to bring in much needed investment into the area. The Madison Square Garden Company, which hails from New York and owns Radio City Music Hall and its namesake Madison Square Garden, has pledged to work with city leaders to include a Workforce Outreach Coordination Program to promote local hiring opportunities and Minority Business Enterprise participation in the project. They will also allow rent-free uses of the Forum by the city for the parking lot for the farmers’ market and support of charitable endeavors of importance to the community.
For an in depth look at the efforts to renovate the Forum, click here.