The Forum has a new name
Kia has purchased the naming rights to The Forum, Inglewood’s historic sports and music venue, The Times has confirmed.
The deal is expected to be announced at a private unveiling on Monday inside the arena, but a sign bearing the new name, Kia Forum, has already been installed outside the building.
Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available. Kia also owns the naming rights to the Kia Arena, a tennis venue that hosts Australian Open matches as part of Melbourne Park.
It is the last location in Los Angeles County to have its name changed, after Crypto.com bought the Staples Center rights in November. In this agreement, Crypto.com paid more than $700 million for naming rights, sources told The Times.
The Forum hosted the Lakers and Kings from 1967 to 1999, when both teams moved to what is now Crypto.com Arena.
In the pearly-white columns of the Forum, the Lakers entrenched their dynasty, winning six NBA championships and 11 Western Conference titles during their 32-year run at the venue. All but one of those championships were won by the “Showtime” Lakers in the 1980s, led by franchise legends Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy.
This dynasty is the subject of HBO’s new “Winning Time” series.
“When the Lakers were on, especially the Lakers, they were doing these Forum snaps,” “Showtime” writer Jeff Pearlman told The Times’ “Binge Sesh” podcast in March. “You would come in; it would be a wide shot of the Forum. And you would see, like, the palm trees and it would still be nice outside. And then they would show the Laker Girls, and they would show different celebrities. And then you would see like Magic and you would see Kareem and Coop and these different guys and Pat Riley with the greased hair. “
After the Lakers left, the venue struggled for more than a decade, until Madison Square Garden bought it in 2012 for $23.5 million and spent $100 million on renovations. The arena reopened in 2014 with an Eagles concert.
The 17,800-seat venue remains a top touring stop for high-profile artists, with upcoming dates scheduled for Billie Eilish, Justin Bieber and Daddy Yankee. According to Billboard.
Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer bought The Forum at Madison Square Garden in 2020 for $400 million. MSG filed three lawsuits in an attempt to block the sale, protesting Ballmer’s plans to build a new arena for the nearby Clippers.
Ballmer is building the billion-dollar Intuit Dome, a few miles from the Kia Forum, to be the Clippers’ new home after the team Crypto.com end of lease in 2024.
“I like to think of it as a basketball palace, a tribute to basketball,” Ballmer said at a groundbreaking party in September. “It’s not the Hall of Fame, but with so many championships we’re going to win here, it’ll be better than the Hall of Fame.”