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SBD/February 9, 2011/Facilities
Leiweke Defends AEG's L.A. NFL Plan, Reiterates No Taxpayer Money
Published February 9, 2011
NOT SO IMPARTIAL? The AP's Jacob Adelman reported the L.A. business leaders selected by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to "analyze plans for a downtown NFL stadium on the public's behalf seem to have one thing in common: deep financial, political and civic ties" with AEG. Villaraigosa's panel includes former California Gov. Gray Davis, who "received generous donations from entities connected" to AEG Chair Philip Anschutz. The panel also includes entertainment execs who "have partnered with the firm or its affiliates" and business owners "who have served alongside" Leiweke on local boards and commissions. Adelman wrote that makeup "could cast doubt on its ability to objectively evaluate the stadium project" (AP, 2/8).
PROMOTIONAL EFFORT: In L.A., David Zahniser reported Villaraigosa's office "shot a video to promote the city's quest for an NFL team -- a production that features firefighters, mariachis, a surfer and, of course, the mayor himself." Villaraigosa in the spot "promises viewers that taxpayer money will not be used to build" the stadium. Villaraigosa: "This project will be 100% privately funded, but not by me. Who do you think I am? Mayor Bloomberg?" (LATIMES.com, 2/7).