SBD/March 4, 2011/Facilities

AEG's L.A. Stadium Plan Facing Tough Questions Ahead Of Presentation

AEG making first Farmers Field presentation to mayor's committee
AEG's proposal to build Farmers Field in downtown L.A. faced some "tough questions" Thursday at City Hall "over some of the promises and forecasts being used to promote development" of the NFL facility, according to Mehta & Connell of the L.A. TIMES. City Council member Bill Rosendahl "wrote city negotiators and the head of a special panel reviewing the $1.4-billion proposal asking for details on a key promise: that the stadium would dramatically improve the city's ability to attract major events and conventions." AEG contends that its stadium "would increase business by creating more contiguous and expanded event space at the Convention Center, providing an ongoing financial boon of millions of dollars annually in new economic activity." But Rosendahl said, "My bottom line, my main goal is where does the city of Los Angeles financially get impacted, or does it not?" AEG said that "negotiations remain in the early stages, and such queries would be answered as they proceed." L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's blue-ribbon committee studying the proposal is "holding its first meeting Friday," at which AEG will "give its first public presentation about the proposal." Local business leaders and community groups "have been invited to discuss the potential fiscal effects" (L.A. TIMES, 3/4).

GRAND OPENING: In L.A., Austin Knoblauch reported Majestic Realty is "no longer using the City of Industry when referring to the location" of its proposed NFL stadium just outside L.A., a change made "at the request of the NFL." Majestic Realty VP John Semcken said that the project now is known as "Grand Crossing." Semcken: "I was specifically asked if I could change the name of the city by the National Football League, and I said yes and I did it. It's an impression that they have, which was a negative impression, and there's no reason to have it. You just get rid of it." He added that City of Industry "had no objections to the name change" (LATIMES.com, 3/3). Semcken noted that he "borrowed the Grand Crossing name from an industrial development that Majestic built nearby" (ESPNLA.com, 3/3).
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