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. 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, President Hank Ratner said. “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,” he said.
A revitalized Forum would provide an economic lift to its Inglewood neighborhood. But it faces entrenched competition from the region’s other entertainment hot spots 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. “We are very certain of our customer experience, their safety and the vibrancy of our campus,” said Tim Leiweke, president of Los Angeles-based AEG. “We are going to vigorously protect our own town.”