SBD/Issue 62/Facilities & Venues

Tim Leiweke Lays Out AEG's Vision For Downtown L.A. NFL Stadium

Leiweke Says AEG Wants To Have
A Stadium Deal In Place By March

AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke yesterday presented his company's vision for downtown L.A., specifically its "grand plan to build a state-of-the-art football stadium and bring the NFL back," according to Vincent Bonsignore of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. Leiweke, addressing more than 300 L.A. execs at the JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live, said that he "hopes to have things wrapped up on that front within the next three months." By March '11, AEG aims to "have a deal in place with the city to build a privately funded $1 billion NFL stadium/events center on the site of the West Hall of the Convention Center." In addition, an "agreement will need to be reached with the NFL to return to Los Angeles with assurances from at least one existing team to eventually move here." Leiweke stressed that he is "confident those agreements will be in place," based on his "conversations with city leadership" and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Leiweke said of the NFL, "They want to get it done, they want to get back to L.A. Roger Goodell believes in L.A. and he wants to get a team here desperately. And the owners want to get a team here." But if "no agreements are in place, Leiweke doesn't foresee AEG sticking around much longer waiting on one." He said, "We'll move on and let others have at it" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 12/9). Leiweke: "We’re going to give this our best shot over the next three months. This is the second-largest marketplace in the United States and we’re going to act like it" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 12/9).

FULL SPEED AHEAD: Leiweke at yesterday's gathering said that AEG's "architectural review process for a South Park stadium with a retractable roof has already begun." He noted that 12 architects have submitted designs for the stadium, and AEG "expects to conduct interviews with the architecture firms next week and to cut the list to about two designers." Leiweke said that the company "plans to make a decision in January." He previously indicated that he "hopes a new stadium would host the 2016 Super Bowl" (LADOWNTOWNNEWS.com, 12/8). Leiweke "promised he wouldn't be showing off models and drawings of the proposed stadium for the next couple of years while the city and league continue to drag their feet." He said that AEG "doesn't need to own an NFL team to start construction on the downtown stadium and shot down reports" that AEG Chair Phil Anschutz has acquired a stake in the Chargers (ESPNLA.com, 12/8).

GET IT OUT IN THE OPEN: In St. Paul, John Shipley reported Goodell will meet with Minnesota's "top business leaders when he visits the Vikings later this month as part of the team's 50th anniversary celebration," and the "No. 1 topic of discussion is expected to be the Vikings' efforts to build a new stadium." Goodell is scheduled to be in Minneapolis for the Bears-Vikings "MNF" game on Dec. 20, and while in town will be a "guest at a luncheon of the Minnesota Business Partnership, which has members of the state's biggest business, such as 3M, Best Buy, Target and General Mills." He also "will be part of a fan forum" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 12/8).

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