The Madison Square Garden Company Announces Plans for the Revitalization of the Forum
MSG to Invest $100 Million in the Forum
Legendary Eagles to Re-Open Historic Venue in January 2014 With Three Performances
Chase Named Presenting Partner of the Forum
NEW YORK, July 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG), which acquired the Forum in Inglewood, California in June of 2012, today announced its plans for the iconic venue, including its commitment to invest $100 million, details of its ongoing revitalization, its highly-anticipated reopening in January 2014 and the company's naming of Chase as Presenting Partner.
Upon completion of the extensive revitalization, the Forum will reopen on January 15 with a historic performance by the legendary Eagles. Synonymous with California music history, and one of the most prolific and successful acts of all times, the Eagles are bringing their highly successful "History of the Eagles" tour to the Forum for grand opening performances on January 15, January 17 and January 18, performing classics spanning their career, including some that have never been performed live. Ticketing information will be announced shortly.
"Since we first explored the opportunity to acquire the Forum and expand The Madison Square Garden Company's presence on the West Coast, our vision has been clear: return the venue to its celebrated position as one of the most beloved and well-known venues in the country for the benefit of the community, fans and performers for generations to come," said James L. Dolan, executive chairman, The Madison Square Garden Company. "We are pleased with the substantial progress on our ambitious plans, and starting with the Eagles in January, the Forum will return to its rightful position as a thriving destination for both artists and music fans."
Mr. Dolan continued: "I would also like to say a special thank you to Irving Azoff, who brought this opportunity to our attention. Irving's prominence in and knowledge of the LA market, along with his unmatched success in the music industry, are what led us here today. He knew that the Forum was a venue that artists loved to play, and that MSG could make this historic venue great again. As one of the most respected and creative executives in the entertainment industry, we have no doubt that Irving will play an important role in helping us meet our ambitious goals, and that his vision and insights will ensure that the revitalization of this iconic arena is a total success."
Irving Azoff, the Eagles' manager and founder of Azoff Music Management, has more than 40 years of experience as one of the top managers and industry leaders in the world, and was recently named the #1 most powerful industry leader on Billboard's 2012 Power 100 list.
Mr. Azoff stated: "The Forum is an iconic Southern California landmark and with the vision of The Madison Square Garden Company is sure to become the world's quintessential music-focused venue. Since the 1970s, the Eagles have a long and rich history with the Forum. The building has played an important role in the growth and development of the band from their early Southern California roots to becoming a worldwide touring phenomenon. With its unsurpassed acoustics and warm intimate arena experience, it's always been the band's favorite building to perform in and we're anxiously looking forward to kicking off the next era of the Forum this January."
The Forum expands MSG's footprint to the West Coast, and adds a seventh venue to the company's famed portfolio of venues, which include: "The World's Most Famous Arena," Madison Square Garden; the art deco masterpiece, Radio City Music Hall; the renowned Beacon Theatre; the legendary Chicago Theatre in Chicago; The Theater at Madison Square Garden and Boston's Wang Theatre. The Forum will book a broad scope of events with a focus on music and entertainment, including concerts, family productions, award shows, television/film productions, as well as a few select sporting events. The company will make further bookings announcements in the coming weeks and months as a full event schedule develops.
As it has done with several of its venues, including Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon and currently, Madison Square Garden, The Madison Square Garden Company is revitalizing the Forum to create a world-class entertainment venue that bridges its iconic past with today's state-of-the-art technology and amenities. BBB Architects, a renowned architectural firm with an unmatched history of renovating landmark entertainment venues, including MSG's current Transformation of The Garden, is directing the Forum revitalization, which is inspired by the venue's original 1967 design, and includes upgrades to the entire venue site.
The revitalization of the Forum will create the largest and most important indoor performance venue in the country designed with a focus on music and entertainment and will have something for everyone artists and promoters, LA music fans and VIP customers. Architecturally, the interior of the bowl will be completely modernized and feature flexible seating, ranging from 17,500 seats to 8,000 seats, enabling the venue to attract a wide variety of events. The arena will be updated with state-of-the-art, technically advanced support systems featuring a unique "sky deck" to accommodate the largest touring concerts, productions and events. Fans will enjoy one of the largest general admission floors in the country, with approximately 8,000 square feet of new event level hospitality offerings, including food and beverage, merchandise and bathrooms. A tinted glass wall will separate this concession area from the arena floor; ensuring fans do not miss a moment of the performance. Forum VIP customers will have access to the historic Forum Club, which will be completely re-imagined with thematic music-inspired detailing, and the new Chase Lounge.
Thanks to its superior acoustics and intimate ambiance, the Forum delivers a one-of-a-kind experience for artists. The new Forum, designed with artists in mind, will include seven star-caliber dressing rooms that feature upgraded amenities, providing an unparalleled experience for all entertainers performing at the Forum. In addition, there will be a dedicated area for production and touring crews, which will include an exclusive dining space. Among the key features that will be resurrected in an effort to replicate the original design is the exterior color of the venue, which will be repainted to the 1960's "California sunset red." The revitalization of the 40,000 square foot outdoor terrace surrounding the perimeter of the building will offer upgraded food and beverage amenities to elevate the guest experience. In addition, a distinct and iconic Forum marquee that reflects the architecture of the venue will be located at Manchester and Prairie.
"Our acquisition and revitalization 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 two top entertainment markets in the country and continues to expand our position as one of the country's premier live entertainment companies," said Hank Ratner, president and chief executive officer, The Madison Square Garden Company. "We are proud to be a part of Inglewood, and look forward to creating a venue that not only enhances the entertainment landscape of Los Angeles and Southern California, but also serves as a catalyst for the revitalization of the area."
The Madison Square Garden Company has a proven track record of securing top honors for the venues it owns, operates and acquires, and is committed to achieving similar results for the Forum. In 2009, after consistently being ranked as the #1 venues in their respective class by leading trade publication Billboard, both Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall were named Billboard's "Venue of the Decade," for achieving the highest box office scores of venues worldwide in their respective venue class. Additionally, in the year following the company's more recent acquisitions of the Beacon Theatre and The Chicago Theatre, both venues were ranked by Billboard as Top 10 venues in their respective class. All three theatres - The Chicago Theatre, The Wang Theatre and the Beacon Theatre - have experienced double and triple digit growth since becoming part of the MSG portfolio of venues.
"One of the cornerstones of our business is music and entertainment and our focus for the Forum will be entertainment first," said Melissa Ormond, president, MSGE. "We look forward to maximizing our extensive industry expertise and relationships to make the Forum an even more dynamic and beloved institution for Inglewood and all of Los Angeles. We are confident that artists are going to love playing the revitalized Forum."
A key part of the Forum is naming Chase as a corporate partner who shares the company's commitment to the revitalization of the Forum and the Inglewood community. In addition to signage both inside and outside the Forum, a featured lounge, named "Chase Lounge," will be located on the opposite side of the venue's Forum Club, and will only be accessible through select affiliations with Chase. The exclusive lounge will have a dedicated entrance, as well as top tier food and beverage amenities. Chase is a Marquee Partner of The Madison Square Garden Company and, in the fall, will join with MSG to unveil the Chase Bridges and Chase Square as part of MSG's third and final phase of its Madison Square Garden arena Transformation.
"Revitalizing the Forum will bring a new vitality to this community - not only by expanding access to arts and entertainment, but also creating new jobs and growing the economy in and around Inglewood," said Claire Huang, chief marketing officer, Chase.
The Eagles have sold more than 120 million albums worldwide, earning five #1 U.S. singles and six GRAMMY® Awards. Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 is the best-selling album of all time, exceeding sales of 29 million units. The band's Hotel California and Their Greatest Hits Volume 2 have sold more than 16 and 11 million albums respectively. The Eagles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Providing an unprecedented and intimate look into the history of the band and the legacy of its music, History of the Eagles has already become the year's best-selling music video and the tour, which launched July 6, has already broken several box office records and includes three sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden in November. For more information, visit the band's website at www.eaglesband.com .
The Forum was constructed in 1967 by Jack Kent Cooke, then-owner of the Lakers and founding owner of the Kings (KFS). Cooke promised to build what he envisioned would be "not only one of the most beautiful buildings in America, but in the world." Designed by prolific architect Charles Luckman of the firm Charles Luckman, Associates, who also designed Madison Square Garden, the structure was constructed for $16 million and praised for its beauty and modern interpretation of the Coliseum of ancient Rome. Over the years, the Forum not only served as home to the LA Lakers and Kings, but also hosted the greatest musicians of the day, including the Rolling Stones, The Jackson 5, Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, Elton John, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Paul McCartney, Prince, U2, and many more. In 2000, the Faithful Central Bible Church purchased The Forum and began holding regular Sunday services, while also renting the venue for concerts, sporting events and other entertainment events. In May and June 2009, Michael Jackson rehearsed at the Forum for his planned "This Is It" concert series in London and the footage was used for Sony Pictures' film Michael Jackson's This Is It.
About The Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company is a fully-integrated sports, media and entertainment business. The Company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive the Company's overall business, which is built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that the company creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports owns and operates the following sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL). MSG Sports also features the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including professional boxing, college basketball, bull riding and tennis. MSG Media is a leader in production and content development for multiple distribution platforms, including content originating from the Company's venues. MSG Media's television networks consist of regional sports networks, MSG Network and MSG+, collectively referred to as MSG Networks; and Fuse, a national television network dedicated to music. MSG Networks also include high-definition channels, MSG HD and MSG+ HD, and Fuse includes its high-definition channel, Fuse HD. MSG Entertainment is one of the country's leaders in live entertainment. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in the Company's diverse collection of venues. These venues consist of Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre, the Forum in Inglewood, CA, The Chicago Theatre, and the Wang Theatre in Boston, MA. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com .
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CONTACT: Mikyl Cordova/MSG Entertainment 212/631-4337 Steve Sugerman/Sugerman Communications 310/974-6685 Larry Solters/Scoop Marketing 818/761-6100 Melissa Shuffield/Chase 212/270-5730
Source: The Madison Square Garden Company 2013 GlobeNewswire, Inc.