SBD/October 10, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

L.A. City Council Renews Request For NFL To Return To City With One Or Two Teams

The "ever-optimistic" L.A. City Council yesterday went on record "renewing a request to the NFL to return to the region with one or two professional football teams," according to Rick Orlov of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. Council member Tom LaBonge said, "At the start of this season, I said to myself that I was going to write a letter to (NFL Commissioner) Roger Goodell reminding them of our interest. I got a letter back from the League and some team owners saying they support the idea." Orlov notes, however, the NFL has made "similar statements in the past, but the 32 owners have refused to provide an expansion team for the area." Efforts "to convince an existing franchise to move" also have "been rejected." The city has a contract with AEG that expires in October '14, "giving the company the exclusive right to talk with the NFL for its planned Farmers Field stadium at LA Live." But LaBonge said that if it takes longer than that to convince the NFL, there are "other sites that could be used as temporary or permanent homes for a team." Council member Joe Buscaino said, "We have done our part. It’s time for the NFL to do its part. It’s our turn. It’s our time. We need to bring the Vince Lombardi trophy to the city of Los Angeles." NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy yesterday said that there are "no new developments now on the league looking to locate a team" in L.A. (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 10/10).

READY TO GO: In L.A., Bill Dwyre writes as far as the NFL and L.A. go, "all is quiet on the Western front." AEG's Farmers Field stadium plan is "a quieter effort" since former AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke left the company, as he was "effective, hard-charging, persuasive, but never quiet." AEG Chair Phil Anschutz "himself took over and is the opposite." However, "his quiet doesn't mean waning interest." Also still "on the front burner" is the Grand Crossing project in the City of Industry led by Majestic Realty Chair & CEO Ed Roski. Majestic VP John Semcken last week "in effect" said that the project, "having recently cleared some hurdles, is also now 'shovel-ready.'" Where the NFL "stands on any of this is unknown" (L.A. TIMES, 10/10).

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM: In L.A., Catherine Saillant reports the City Council yesterday agreed to pay AEG "up to $350,000 a year to operate the dated" L.A. Convention Center. The five-year contract "provides AEG an annual base fee of $175,000 with the potential to double that if it meets certain targets, such as raising revenues and bookings at the 1970s-era facility." The unanimous vote "culminated a nearly yearlong effort to find a private operator for the city-owned Convention Center and negotiate a contract that will benefit both the city and its new management team." Officials said that AEG's contract "will have no impact on a separate effort by AEG and the city to lure" an NFL team to L.A. (L.A. TIMES, 10/10).
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