Nick Spampanato to Leave The Forum as General Manager: Exclusive
The Forum's general manager Nick Spampanato is leaving his post at the LA arena, Billboard has learned. It's unclear where Spampanato is going, but sources tell us that he could likely land at Oak View Group, which is owned by Tim Leiweke along with Irving Azoff and James Dolan, who also share ownership of The Forum.
A job listing to replace Spampanato, who has been with the company since 2009, was posted online Friday morning (read it here), seeking to hire a vp and GM for The Forum.
"This individual will act as MSG’s primary representative with the City of Inglewood," the listing reads, "and LA County on all issues and act as the main point of contact for all clients and partners of The Forum." The new gm will report to MSG's evp of venue management Rich Claffey.
Spampanato is the latest high-level executive to leave the building in recent years. Late last year, Irving's wife Shelli Azoff handed day-to-day management responsibilities of The Forum to Spampanato after a human resources investigation into Shelli’s management of the arena was opened following several anonymous complaints made to a Madison Square Garden tip line. According to a December statement from the company, Shelli Azoff was elevated to Chief Marketing Officer and tasked with "creating and implementing the Company’s worldwide marketing strategy."
Since opening in 2014, The Forum has seen the exit of Dana Dufine, who worked with the Azoff family for years at Azoff management arm Front Line Entertainment and Immortal Records/Virgin EMI. Not long after her exit, two other employees -- Anjali Raval, who served as vp of marketing, and Traci Jones, director partnership activation & development -- left. Other high-profile exits include the 2014 departures of Sid Greenfeig and Paola Palazzo.
The Forum is one of the highest-grossing arenas in California but has found itself entangled in a legal battle with the city of Inglewood over a proposed arena for the Clippers less than two miles from The Forum. Lawyers for The Forum are trying to fight a request by Inglewood attorneys to depose Dolan in the lawsuit, and in a June 22 declaration, Spampanato said that while Dolan is "technically an officer of MSG Forum," he is "not involved in MSG Forum’s day-to-day operations" nor was he "involved in the day-to-day aspects of the Forum acquisition."