Owners of Madison Square Garden have big plans for the Forum
Renovations to begin this year
INGLEWOOD, Calif.—The owners of Madison Square Garden have developed an ambitious plan to turn the faded Forum into a juggernaut that would challenge the region’s big arenas, including Staples Center and its owner, the politically connected AEG, it was reported today.
MSG, as the company is known, has paid $23.5 million for the Forum and will start work this year on a $50 million renovation, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Details are to be released in the fall, but the makeover is intended to turn the Forum into a top-flight concert hall and will take at least a year, MSG President Hank Ratner said in remarks reported by the newspaper.
The Forum once was Southern California’s preeminent entertainment venue.
But the famous round building fell on hard times after the Lakers and Kings moved downtown, and venues in up-and-coming neighborhoods nabbed the concert business. In the end, the Forum was bought by the Faithful Central Bible Church.
“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,” Ratner said.
A revitalized Forum would provide an economic lift to Inglewood but faces competition from other entertainment venues amid a challenging climate in the concert business.
The owners of Staples Center said they don’t fear a rivalry with the East Coast impresarios. They were quick to raise questions about the security of the neighborhood surrounding the Forum and dismissed it as a “class B” venue, The Times reported.
Hundreds of potential hires turned out on Thursday to meet with subcontractors for the Forum Renovation Project.
The meeting was held at Faithful Central Bible Church, the former owner of the Forum. The historic but rundown arena in Inglewood was sold to Madison Square Garden in June 2012.
The facility, built in 1967, was the former home of the Lakers and Kings, and the site of numerous memorable rock concerts.
On May 4th as part of the New Americans Campaign, representatives from almost 100 immigrant organizations and foundations nationwide are convening in Inglewood for a workshop, and volunteers from these groups will answer citizenship questions, help fill out forms, and obtain fee waivers.
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at Faithful Central Bible Church, 321 N. Eucalyptus Ave., Inglewood. Assistance will be available in nine different languages.
INGLEWOOD, Calif.—Funeral services will be held today for Cali Swag District rapper M-Bone, known for the song and accompanying dance "Teach Me How to Dougie.''
The rapper, whose real name was Montae Talbert, was shot and killed at about 10:30 p.m. May 15 in the 400 block of North La Brea Avenue. He was sitting in a car outside a liquor store when the shots were fired.
He was taken to Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A dozen Los Angeles-area residents — including the state’s second-largest biller for chiropractic services — were taken into custody today in connection with seven criminal cases alleging they cumulatively submitted more than $22 million in false billings to Medicare.
Those arrested also include a physician’s assistant and owners of durable medical equipment and ambulance companies, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — A noninjury fire that appears to have been set by one or more transients to keep warm broke out today at a vacant house in Inglewood, authorities said.
The first firefighters to reach the single story house at 4020 West Century Blvd. at 12:18 a.m. reported it was "fully involved in flames," said Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Andre Gougis.
Firefighters had the flames knocked down in five minutes, he said.