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SBD/Issue 46/Facilities & Venues
NFL Reportedly Enthused By AEG's Proposed L.A. Stadium Plan
Published November 15, 2010
|Raiders, Chargers May Be
Candidates For L.A. Move
AEG's plan for a football stadium near L.A. Live may be the "solution to the long dormant L.A. franchise problem" in the NFL, according to SI's Peter King. The NFL is “very enthused and very encouraged by the fact that there’s going to be a stadium project adjacent to the Staples Center." King said there "could be a team, I believe, in Los Angeles by 2015 finally.” He added the team would be “probably an existing franchise, maybe Oakland, but I think it’s a better chance that it’s San Diego, unless the Chargers solve their stadium problem in San Diego” (“FNIA,” NBC, 11/14). King writes, "What's held the NFL back is either that the league didn't really want to be at the Coliseum -- and USC wasn't crazy about having the NFL there -- or the league didn't want to be in the endless 'burbs of southern California." However, WMG Chair & CEO Casey Wasserman and AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke, who are backing the new facility, are "well-connected guys who want to build the kind of retractable-roof events center that could be used to attract the 2022 World Cup final (or some future World Cup) and Final Fours, as well as an NFL team." Influential NFL team owners "are excited about the Los Angeles prospect ending a generation-long drought in the city, and these are owners who ... have not been nearly as excited about any of the previous L.A. ventures" (SI.com, 11/15).
MAKING STRIDES: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Don Muret reports AEG has “issued a proposal to design a $725 million stadium in downtown Los Angeles featuring a retractable roof and 40 field-level suites among its 218 luxury boxes.” It is the “first of several critical steps AEG must complete in the next four to five years to deliver the project by its targeted opening date of Aug. 15, 2015.” But before “breaking ground at the site -- across the street from AEG-owned Staples Center and the AEG-developed L.A. Live entertainment district -- the group still has deals to get done with the NFL and a team to make the move” to L.A. Leiweke said that the organization also has to “make a separate deal with city officials to build the stadium on land where part of the Los Angeles Convention Center stands.” The proposed event center would have 160 traditional suites and “18 larger event rental skyboxes with 48 to 90 seats, slightly fewer than some larger NFL facilities.” Elevated suites on the south end “must convert to meeting room use for the adjacent convention center.” There would be 14,700 club seats. The 72,000-seat facility would have the “flexibility to expand to 76,250 for mega-events such as the Super Bowl, NCAA football games, FIFA World Cup finals and NCAA Final Four” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/15 issue).
NOT IN THIS HOUSE: In St. Paul, Charley Walters cited sources as saying that the “recent Minnesota elections that resulted in a Republican-dominated state Legislature, coupled with the Vikings’ ineptitude on and off the field, make it unlikely the Vikings will get serious consideration for a stadium bill next session.” Republicans recently gained 21 seats in the state Legislature, and the “people who will sit in them aren’t expected to support much that involves public money.” Walters wrote although the NFL “would like a team in Los Angeles, it’s a sure bet it has no interest in relocating a team that gives it penetration in the Upper Midwest” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/14).