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SBJ/September 24-30, 2012/Franchises
The AEG Story
Key dates in how one of the biggest sports, entertainment companies was put together
Published September 24, 2012, Pages 32-33
■ June: Phil Anschutz becomes a major investor in Major League Soccer; when the league began its first season, in 1996, he owned the Colorado Rapids.
■ October: NHL board of governors unanimously approves the sale of the Los Angeles Kings to Anschutz and Ed Roski.
■ June: After serving four years as president of the Denver Nuggets, Tim Leiweke is named president of the Kings.
■ December: A 20-year, $116 million naming-rights deal is announced with Staples for the new AEG-owned arena in downtown Los Angeles. At that time, it was the most lucrative naming-rights deal in sports history.
■ October: AEG purchases the Los Angeles Galaxy from Los Angeles Soccer Partners for a reported $26 million.
■ October: The $400 million AEG-owned Staples Center opens.
■ AEG holds ownership stakes in nine pro teams in the U.S., including six MLS clubs: Fire, Rapids, United, Galaxy, MetroStars and Earthquakes. In addition to the NHL Kings, AEG owns stakes in the Lakers and AHL (N.H.) Monarchs.
■ June: The Home Depot Center, a $150 million, 125-acre development, opens in Carson, Calif.
■ September: AEG sells the Colorado Rapids to Kroenke Sports Enterprises.
■ November: Leiweke and owner’s representative Tim Romani solidify their 13-year relationship by forming a new company called Icon Venue Group, a joint venture between AEG and Romani Group.
■ December: AEG announces that the San Jose Earthquakes will move to Houston. The team is later renamed the Houston Dynamo.
■ March: AEG sells the New York/New Jersey MetroStars and a 50 percent stake in the team’s new stadium in Harrison, N.J., to Red Bull. The company had owned the team since 2001.
■ January: AEG’s Galaxy shocks the world by signing David Beckham to a five-year deal worth a reported $250 million.
■ January: AEG sells D.C. United to a group led by Victor MacFarlane and Will Chang for $33 million.
■ June: The AEG-operated O2 Dome opens in London. AEG owns and operates all three O2 venues in Europe.
■ September: AEG closes a deal to have Andell Holdings buy its Chicago Fire for a reported $35 million.
■ October: The $286 million AEG-operated Sprint Center opens in Kansas City. AEG invests $53.5 million into the project in return for a 35-year management contract. The arena does not have a major league sports tenant.
■ October: L.A. Live, a $2.5 billion, 4 million-square-foot sports, residential and entertainment district, opens in downtown Los Angeles. ESPN begins broadcasting the 1 a.m. ET edition of “SportsCenter” from there in 2009.
■ December: The NBA and AEG outline a joint partnership to operate the 18,000-seat basketball arena built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The two will jointly operate, manage and book the facility known as the Wukesong Indoor Stadium.
■ May: AEG buys part of Golden Boy Promotions, becoming the second-largest shareholder after Oscar De La Hoya.
■ May: AEG creates AEG Global Partnerships to focus on its international business. Todd Goldstein, who joined AEG in 1999, is named president.
■ October: Staples extends its naming-rights agreement for the Staples Center. The company’s original 20-year naming-rights agreement will now be extended in perpetuity, a first for a big league arena.
■ December: The NBA-AEG joint venture sells China’s first arena naming-rights deal. Shanghai’s $280 million arena will bear the Mercedes-Benz name.
■ January: AEG announces it has signed Farmers Insurance to a 30-year, $700 million naming-rights deal for a proposed football stadium in downtown Los Angeles, the biggest price tag for any naming-rights deal in the world.
■ July: AEG announces a deal to develop a $1.5 billion sports and entertainment complex in Moscow. The project, which will include a 45,000-seat soccer stadium and a 12,000-seat arena, is scheduled to open in 2016.
■ August: AEG officially launches Axs, its new ticketing company.
■ February: AEG creates a new division, AEG Sports, comprising 11 franchises and properties.
■ May: The $95 million BBVA Compass Stadium opens as the home to the MLS Houston Dynamo. AEG, team co-owner and stadium operator, financed two-thirds of the project, and brokered a 10-year, $20 million naming-rights deal.
■ June: After 17 years of ownership, Anschutz gets his hardware as the Kings win the Stanley Cup. Leiweke: “If you follow the chain, every decision we made in this company somehow goes back to the Kings. The Kings are the foundation we built this company off of.”