New York's Madison Square Garden Company, which purchased the Inglewood Forum last year, says it will formally announce its plans to renovate the circa-1967 venue at a news conference next week.
The Forum has been somewhat in limbo since the Lakers and Kings left for Staples Center in 1999. A church bought it, then the Madison Square Garden folks swooped in (purchase price: $23.5 million) with grand designs:
According to a spokesman, officials will announce a reopening date for the Forum during a (Tuesday) July 30 press conference:
… Executives from the Madison Square Garden Company will gather with music industry titan Irving Azoff, Mayor Butts and “special guests” to announce the revitalization and re-opening of the iconic venue, which MSG acquired last year. The event will include the opening dates & opening acts for the Forum, along with information and renderings about the renovated venue.
Doesn't seem any sports teams would move there, given the dominance of Staples Center, but we could see the Forum as a much-needed music venue of its size (capacity 18,000) doing quite well with concerts.
It would certainly fill a vacuum for venues that size in L.A.
Azoff (see the quote above) is former CEO of Ticketmaster, a pop-star manager and all-around music-industry power player.
Melissa Ormond, president of MSG Entertainment, hinted that live music is the direction the company will take with the Forum when she stated this more than one year ago:
Since taking over the Beacon Theatre, The Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theater in Boston, the combined bookings for those venues has increased by approximately 140 percent, and we are committed to having an even more dramatic impact on the Forum, for the benefit of music fans and the Inglewood community.
[Added at 4:13 p.m.]: In 2009 the electronic-music-focused HARD Summer festival at the Forum was shut down by police as a result of alleged overcrowding.
Since then the biggest concert promoters in America, including Live Nation, AEG Live and SFX entertainment have been moving into the burgeoning world of raves and electronic dance music festivals. In fact Live Nation purchased HARD.
Locally, the ever-growing market for EDM means a growing need for venues, and so far there's been a dearth of decent places.
After controversy over the 2010 Electric Daisy Carnival at the L.A. Coliseum, raves were pushed out of that venue and its sister property, the L.A. Sports Arena.
Events continue to happen in San Bernardino County and at the L.A. State Historic Park near Chinatown, but it appears our voracious market can support more.
For that reason we predict — yes — raves will return to the Forum. We'll see.