The 55-year-old Forum in Los Angeles has landed a new naming partner. Going forward, the Southern California arena will be known as the Kia Forum.
Automotive company Kia has become the naming rights and official automotive partner for the arena, which used to serve as the home of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers.
“Kia America is proud of our history in Southern California going back to the establishment of our US Headquarters here in 1992, and so we all celebrate now being part of one of the most historic, and emotionally-connected live entertainment and sports venues in California – if not the world,” said Kia America vp of marketing Russell Wager in a release. “We are thrilled to be a part of the entertainment and excitement of live music and events at the Kia Forum moving forward.”
The Forum first opened in 1967 as a home for basketball in Los Angeles and has hosted NHL teams, wrestling events, concerts and more. In 1999, the Lakers moved their franchise to Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles and continue to play at that facility, which is now named Crypto.com Arena.
In 2012, the Forum was acquired by Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which made $50 million in renovations to make the 17,000-capacity venue into a major concert destination. In 2020, Steve Ballmer – who owns the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers – purchased the Forum from MSG for $400 million. In addition to the acquisition, the agreement will resolve three separate lawsuits filed by Madison Square Garden Company chairman James Dolan against Ballmer and the City of Inglewood over Ballmer’s plans to build a new 18,000 seat basketball arena (the upcoming Intuit Dome) for the Clippers less than two miles from The Forum.
“We’re proud to partner with Kia and weave together our history with an innovative future, while continuing our dedication to the SoCal community,” said Kia Forum general manager and senior vp of live events Geni Lincoln in a release. “We look forward to merging the entertainment and automotive industries, broadening our mutual commitments to diversity, sustainability, and creativity.”
Kia’s partnership with the Kia Forum will include new outdoor and indoor signage, the installation of EV charging stations and Kia vehicle displays, beginning with the electric EV6. Also coming soon is the “Kia Club,” an exclusive hospitality lounge for the enjoyment of automotive enthusiasts and music fans.