MSG Buys The Forum

Madison Square Garden Company closed a deal June 25 to buy the 17, 500-capacity The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., from Faithful Central Bible Church for $23.5 million.

MSG’s expansion to the West Coast includes an extensive renovation of the historic venue to begin later this year. Details of the reported $50 million project will be revealed this fall.

“The addition of the Forum is a perfect complement to the Madison Square Garden Arena – it now allows us to have world-class venues in both New York and Los Angeles, linking the top two entertainment markets in the country,” said Hank J. Ratner, president/CEO of the company, in a statement.

“We have a proven track record of successfully restoring and renovating our historic venues, including the restoration of Radio City Music Hall in 1999 and the Beacon Theatre in 2009, as well as our current transformation of The Garden, which is in the process of being turned into one of the world’s most spectacular arenas.”

MSG will get an $18 million rehabilitation loan from the city once the $50 million is spent, according to the New York Times.

The Forum, opened in 1967, was previously the home of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and NHL’s Los Angeles Kings until the teams moved to the Staples Center in 1999. The church purchased the facility in 2000 but concerts including Guns N’ Roses, Prince, Rammstein, System Of A Down, Foo Fighters and Soundgarden were booked around church services.

Madison Square Garden Company V.P. of Public Relations Mikyl Cordova told Pollstar that The Forum will be an open building in regards to talent buying.