The company that owns Madison Square Garden announced plans today to spend $100 million to renovate the Forum in Inglewood and reopen it as a concert and entertainment venue in January.
The Madison Square Garden Co. acquired the historic venue in June 2012 for $23.5 million.
“Since we first explored the opportunity to acquire the Forum and expand The Madison Square Garden Company’s presence on the West Coast, our vision has been clear: Return the venue to its celebrated position as one of the most beloved and well-known venues in the county for the benefit of the community, fans and performers for generations to come,” executive chairman James Dolan said.
The Eagles will help reopen the arena during a concert on Jan. 15.
Just north of Hollywood Park at 3900 West Manchester Boulevard, the Forum was once a must on the list of California tour stops for the hottest musicians as well as home to the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings. But the arena, built in 1967 by Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke, has played host to smaller crowds since both the NBA and NHL teams moved downtown to Staples Center in 1999.
MSG envisions a new life for the old venue, which it acquired from the Faithful Central Bible Church.
BBB Architects will lead the transformation, inspired by the original design. The exterior will be repainted to what the new owners call 1960s “California sunset red.” The building was painted blue during its 15-year run as the Great Western Forum, the product of a naming rights deal with the bank of the same name.
Plans for the renovation include state-of-the-art technology, a “sky deck” to accommodate the largest tours and flexible seating to accommodate crowds from 8,000 to 17,500 seats, depending on the event. An 8,000-square-foot concession area on the event floor is designed behind a tinted glass wall. The 40,000-square-foot outdoor terrace will offer upgraded food and beverage amenities.
The Forum Club, a VIP-area, will be completely re-imagined, according to MSG, and will include the new Chase Lounge, named for the arena’s new “presenting partner.”
Dolan thanked Irving Azoff, manager for the Eagles as well as individual pop artists like Christina Aguilera, who he said would play an important role in revitalizing the Forum.
Noting the Eagles’ long history with the arena, which began in the 1970s, Azoff praised the arena’s look and sound.
“With its unsurpassed acoustics and warm intimate arena experience, it’s always been the band’s favorite building to perform in and we’re anxiously looking forward to kicking off the next era of the Forum this January,” Azoff said.
The “History of the Eagles” tour dates are January 15, 17 and 18.
Information on tickets sales is expected to be announced shortly.
“In January, the Forum will return to its rightful position as a thriving destination for both artists and music fans,” Dolan said.
In addition to the Garden, MSG has ownership interests in Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan, the Chicago Theatre and Boston’s Wang Theatre.