It was announced on March 24th that Steve Ballmer purchased the Forum for $400 million. The Inglewood landmark began as a former oil holding site, golf course and then Jack Kent Cooke built the colosseum like structure which opened in 1967. It was the home of the Lakers during the “Showtime” era and was transformed into a world class concert venue when it was purchased and refurbished by James Dolan, chairman and CEO of the Madison Square Garden Company, in 2012.
Dolan’s purchase of the property was shrouded in controversy when he purchased it from Forum Enterprises Inc, the for-profit arm of Faithful Central Bible Church, for $23.5 million, in 2012. The deal nearly fell apart until a controversial loan, initiated by Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, was pledged towards the purchase. Dolan received $18 million in redevelopment money that was to be spent on upgrades.
Inglewood officials agreed to move money out of the city’s redevelopment agency to the city itself in 2011, and paid the Forum loan with that money.
It was reported by the Los Angeles Business Journal that half of the loan will be forgiven after MSG retains ownership for five years, with an additional $1.8 million per year forgiven after that. The entire loan will be forgiven after 10 years of ownership.