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L.A. ARENA PANEL URGES FORWARD MOVEMENT ON NEW ARENA
Published September 6, 1996
A "key" L.A. City Council committee voted unanimously to "move quickly toward forging a deal with developers on a new $270M downtown sports arena, according to Rick Orlov of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. Although raising "concerns" about up to $70M in costs to the city, the Ad Hoc Committee on an L.A. Sports Arena voted 5-0 Thursday recommending that a memo of understanding on a $240M downtown arena be drafted with prospective developers, L.A. Kings Owners Ed Roski Jr. and Philip Anschutz. Council President John Ferraro: "This could lead to the revitalization of downtown. But we have to make sure the city's interests are protected." The proposal will now go to the entire council as early as Wednesday, as the city continues to pursue Anschutz and Roski to develop a 20,000-seat arena next to the Convention Center, to house the Kings and Lakers. Under the proposal, the North Hall of the Convention Center would be demolished, then rented to the developers for $1 a year for 55 years. The committee also recommended that a memo be signed by October 15, so that they meet Roski and Anschutz's timeline of construction starting next year and opening by September 1999. Inglewood has made a $30M cash offer to Roski and Anschutz for them to keep the team in a new arena at the Hollywood Park racetrack. John Semcken, spokesperson for Roski's Majestic Realty, said, "Right now, we're talking to two people, Inglewood and Los Angeles, but that can't go on for long." (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/6).