THE FORUM (cap. 17,505) in Inglewood, Los Angeles, has been sold by the Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp (MSGE) to Steve Ballmer, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team.
The $400 million deal will see the arena operated by the newly formed Forum Entertainment, with its existing leadership team of Geni Lincoln and Mike Fallon remaining in position
MSGE’s New York venues include Madison Square Garden (20,789), Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden (5,600), Radio City Music Hall (6,015) and Beacon Theater (2,894).
Meanwhile, MSGE’s move to build its first venue outside the US, the 21,500-capacity MSG Sphere in London, UK, has met with resistance from train line operator MTR Elizabeth Line.
The objection has been lodged due to concerns that lighting on the exterior of the 90-metre-tall venue would distract drivers on its Crossrail service and propose a “significant safety risks to the operation of the railway” in the area.
The MSG Sphere would be in direct competition with AEG’s The O2 (21,000), which also situated in East London.
MSGC and AEG were embroiled in a booking battle from the summer of 2016 until September 2018. Dubbed the ‘arena wars’, the confrontation began when MSGC suggested it would restrict dates at Madison Square Garden for acts who chose to play AEG-owned LA venue the Staples Center (20,000) instead of The Forum.
AEG responded suggesting acts that didn’t play the Staples Center might find it hard to get dates at The O2.