The first year back in operation for the rejuvenated Forum arena in Inglewood shows how far a little imagination — and $100 million — will go these days.
The Forum has hosted 50 paid concerts this year, almost twice as many as the Southern California area’s second-place finisher, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, and doubling the number at its crosstown competitor, downtown L.A.’s Staples Center.
As the first West Coast venture for the Madison Square Garden Co., the revitalized Forum began the year with half a dozen concerts by the Eagles and subsequently staged performances by Imagine Dragons, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Armin van Buuren, Luis Miguel, 5 Seconds of Summer, the Wu-Tang Clan and more than three dozen other acts.
“The Forum is a home run — it’s a winner,” said Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the concert industry tracking magazine Pollstar. “I have not heard anybody say anything negative…. They definitely scored with that.”
Irving Azoff, the veteran talent manager and music industry mogul who partnered with MSG Executive Chairman James L. Dolan to resuscitate the 47-year-old Forum, told The Times: “We are very, very, very happy. The numbers speak for themselves, and the industry response as well as the fan response has been overwhelming.”