Venue Briefs: The Forum's New Bookings, Comcast-Spectacor's New Connections, SMG's New Roster

The Forum vies for L.A. concert fans

Paul Hebert/Forum Photos

In the competitive venue market of Los Angeles, the newly refurbished Forum is beating its rival Staples Center in concert bookings for the first half of 2015.

At press time, The Forum has 19 shows taking place in the first half of the year, most notably the five-night run by U2 from May 26 to June 3, compared with nine concerts at Staples Center.

The count for both halls is based on shows that have occurred since Jan. 1 or were announced through their online listings and does not include non-concert bookings.

 The AEG-run Staples Center was booked for more than a week for the Feb. 8 Grammy Awards, and also is home to the Los Angeles Lakers, the L.A. Clippers, the L.A. Kings and the L.A. Sparks, so it is less concert-focused during their seasons.

The Forum, run by Madison Square Garden, reopened Jan. 15, 2014 with the first of three shows by The Eagles.

-- Comcast-Spectacor, whose Global Spectrum subsidiary operates the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, is teaming up with its parent company, Comcast, to showcase its high-speed Xfinity Internet service.

"Social media has changed the way people experience entertainment," says Ike Richman, vp of Comcast-Spectacor. "They want to upload video or photos [at events to their friends]. So we're positioning this building to have what we believe to be is the fastest Wi-Fi in sports and entertainment."

-- SMG Entertainment added new buildings to its far-flung facility roster, including the 12,000-capacity Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., which Jason Aldean opened in October, and the 45,000-capacity McClane Stadium at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, which American Idol winner Phillip Phillips opened last August (three days before a 45-0 victory by the Baylor Bears over the Mustangs of Southern Methodist University).

SMG plans an August debut for the 7,000-capacity Medicine Hat Regional Event Center, southwest of Calgary, Alberta.