SBD/Issue 64/Facilities & Venues

Majestic Realty Exec: AEG's L.A. Events Center A "Pipe Dream"

Semcken Believes AEG Stadium
Would Cost Between $2.3-2.5B

Majestic Realty VP John Semcken said AEG's proposed downtown stadium designed to attract an NFL team is a “pipe dream in Los Angeles that is confusing people,” according to Scott Reid of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Semcken's company has a competing stadium proposal in City of Industry, Calif., and the “race between former allies turned rivals … turned personal” last week with Semcken “pointedly criticizing” AEG’s plans. Semcken during a meeting with the Orange County Register "criticized AEG chief operating executive Tim Leiweke's credibility." Semcken said of the man he once "worked side-by-side with to create" Staples Center, “Tim's a bad guy. He can't build the building." Semcken “originally wanted to shop around for a firm to secure a naming rights deal” for the City of Industry stadium. But Semcken said that Majestic Realty Chair & CEO Ed Roski said "just give it to Tim.” Semcken added that Leiweke "recently pressured the Roski group to rent a suite at The Home Depot Center, and Roski agreed to 'as a sign of good faith.'" Semcken: "Now he's competing with us. After we gave them everything we had. ... I'm never going to figure it out." AEG VP/Communications Michael Roth said that the group “has no interest in responding to any of Semcken's statements” Semcken and Majestic Realty Group “question a number of factors about AEG's plans starting with the price tag.” Semcken maintained that the “cost of a retractable roof, earthquake proofing the site and the restraints of building downtown would put the price tag” at between $2.3-2.5B, “citing estimates by contractors involved in building the recently completed New Meadowlands Stadium.” Citing "congestion problems on the 10 and 110 freeways, the reduction of convention space and construction costs and issues," Semcken added a stadium in downtown "doesn't benefit anybody in the greater Los Angeles area." Semcken: “At the end of the day, I don't know why they're doing it. It can't be done. We can break ground tomorrow." Semcken said of the competition between Roski and AEG, “I think it's smart what the NFL is doing.” But he added that the league is “misguided in its belief that a stadium needs to be close to Los Angeles’ affluent Westside communities” (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 12/11).

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