Phenomenal things are happening in the City of Inglewood, from the L.A. Rams and the L.A. Chargers, to recent talks about the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, and the building of a new state-of-the-art stadium. Mayor James Butts, the man behind the City of Champions, spoke with the Los Angeles Sentinel on the city’s development and Inglewood’s positive and constructive movement forward, during his leadership.
“I don’t think that people can fully appreciate what’s happened in Inglewood and what continues to happen, without taking a little bit of a retrospective look at the city and what it has morphed into,” said Butts.
“It was a place that some would have you believe no one would come back and [attend] concerts ever again, because ‘it was in Inglewood’,” Butts said. “Well, along the way, we have compiled six consecutive lowest years of crime in history, on record in the City of Inglewood. Not only did people come back to the Forum, it is the number one concert venue in the state of California for booked events, 25 percent more than Staple Center. Its number two in the country, and number four in the world.”
According to Butts, as a result of the rebuilding, the number of jobs for Inglewood residents will increase and so will the value of homes. As of the middle of 2017, since the end of 2012, property values have gone up 102 percent in Inglewood. Currently, 19 percent of the employees working on the construction project are Inglewood residents, and 40 percent of the employees who work at the Inglewood Forum are Inglewood residents.
“We feel that local people should share in this tide of wealth that is coming to Inglewood. We are very proud; we are now an economic center that is going to bring economic prosperity, not only to Inglewood, but also to South Bay and the Greater Los Angeles region. We have become an emerging economic center for the state,” said the mayor.
Still, the building of the new arena is not the most exciting news for some. In July, the Forum owners filed a claim for damages against the city for “quietly” entering a deal to build the new arena. MSG claimed the Inglewood mayor used a “bait-and-switch strategy” to persuade Forum executives into opening the way for the new stadium.
“Here in 2017, we have people who believe that they can tell a Black and Brown city the constraints of your dreams; that we need their permission to do greater and greater things, and we don’t agree with that,” said Butts.