Outrage sparked as Forum concertgoers allowed to park at cemetery

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Outrage was sparked after Forum concertgoers were allowed to park at the Inglewood Park Cemetery due to overflow. (KABC)

With parking at the Forum being tight due to construction of the new NFL stadium, a nearby cemetery has been aiding in event parking which has upset those with loved ones buried there.

Inglewood Park Cemetery has helped concertgoers headed to the Forum after its parking lot begins to overflow.

"It is just wrong, at the base, at the core, it is wrong," said Karen Keyser. "At no time should a cemetery be considered for parking."

Cemetery patrons sent Eyewitness News pictures that showed bumper-to-bumper vehicles alongside gravesites.

"It breaks my heart and it would break my heart if it was any cemetery," said Keyser. "To have the gates open for concertgoers to drive in and park there, to me is just disrespectful."

Officials said the satellite parking lot at the Forum has been taken over by heavy equipment for the construction of the new stadium.

The satellite parking lot was set to open for cars again in the summer when the current phase of grading is completed, officials stated. Until then, Inglewood Mayor Jim Butts asked the cemetery to accommodate the cars of concertgoers.

In a statement, the mayor told Eyewitness News, "The Forum provided security, lighting and cleanup services to ensure the parking areas were left clean and unblemished. The parking fees generated for Inglewood Park Cemetery allowed the cemetery to accelerate grounds maintenance."

Inglewood Park Cemetery CEO Rick Miller told Eyewitness News in a written statement that as a community partner, they were "glad to be good neighbors on an interim and infrequent basis."

Miller said parking was limited to one side of the cemetery and not the entire 300 acres. He said in the last four months there were six times when the Forum needed more spaces. One of those times there were as many as 100 vehicles and another evening had as few as two, according to Miller.

Keyser and others who have protested to the cemetery said there must be a better way.

"It shouldn't have happened the first time and that's why we're reaching out. We want it to stop now," she said.

Butts said he was sensitive to the issue as his own parents were buried in the cemetery. He urged critics of the temporary solution to be patient.
Related Topics:
newsconcertconstructioncemeteryparkingInglewoodLos Angeles County
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