All Fine At The Forum

The church that owns The Forum in Los Angeles has been going at it with facility operator SMG for some time, but tensions appear to have dissipated just as things were approaching boiling point.

The church bought the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings for $22 million about a decade ago. Since then, the church has been agitated, and litigious, with its facility managers – first AEG, then SMG, the latter of which was hired in 2003 to bring events to the aging venue when services were not being held.

Since then, the church has had a hard time paying its annual $1.2 million mortgage, and fingers were pointed squarely at SMG. The world’s largest facility operator said Faithful Central owed more than $1 million in fees. The church accused SMG of mismanagement, excessive fees and spreading false rumors to concert promoters to scare away business, the Los Angeles Times reported. It even accused SMG of stealing $210,000 from a church account.

Meanwhile, the 17,500-capacity Forum has been dark. The church bought it to accommodate its 10,000-strong congregation but currently holds services at the nearby Tabernacle.

However, the day that the Times published the story, Aug. 30, was the same day that SMG met with the bishop of the church. The tides appear to be turning.

“The parties have met and appear to have reached a settlement and are now just working out the details,” John Burns, chief financial officer of SMG, told Pollstar.