INGLEWOOD (CBSLA.com) — As crews prepare for The Eagles’ return Wednesday to the newly-renovated Forum, many are hoping this will set the stage for a renaissance in Inglewood.
Once known as the Fabulous Forum, the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings was acquired in 2012 by the Madison Square Garden Co., which embarked on a $100 million renovation to remake it into a venue that would draw the biggest names in pop music.
The gamble appears to be working – The Eagles will play a series of six concerts at the venue, and Justin Timberlake is scheduled to take the stage at the Forum on Jan. 20.
“Number one, it’s going to bring people into the neighborhood, it’s gonna bring revenue into the neighborhood,” Inglewood resident Brenda Smith said.
The Forum had gone underused for more than a dozen years before MSG bought the Forum from Faith Bible Church, its first business venture west of the Mississippi River. MSG wasn’t the only entity to place a multi-million bet on the Forum’s revival – the struggling city of Inglewood pulled from its redevelopment funds to float an $18 million rehabilitation loan for the project.
“They were funds the city couldn’t use for anything but economic redevelopment,” Inglewood mayor James Butts said.
In return, Inglewood is guaranteed nearly $700,000 in revenue annually over 10 years. MSG is also required to staff at least 35 percent of the jobs at the Forum with local residents.