L.A. Official Suggests City Could Share In Profits From AEG's Downtown Stadium
L.A. City Council member Jan Perry Thursday said that the city "should explore the possibility of sharing in developer profits" from AEG's proposed downtown stadium, "in addition to demanding detailed guarantees that the city budget won't be stressed by the deal," according to Rich Connell of the L.A. TIMES. Perry, the newly named Chair of a special committee charged with examining the stadium project, said the proposal is "an opportunity for us." Referring to City Hall's $350M projected budget shortfall, she added, "This is a way to help pull us out of this deficit status." Connell notes Perry spoke during and after a panel discussion on L.A.'s competing NFL stadium plans -- AEG's and one from Majestic Realty -- and her comments "could signal an uptick in City Hall support for squeezing as much new revenue as possible from stadium negotiations still in the early stages." Perry stressed that the "first priority in talks with AEG" is to "ensure the development does not become a drain on current or future general government budgets." She added that the "ongoing budget crisis also means 'we're in a strong position' to bargain for more revenue." Thursday's program "marked the first time representatives of AEG and a competing stadium plan in the City of Industry had appeared together to tout their projects." Each argued that their respective location "offered access advantages for fans and that their proposals would provide greater financial payoffs to local communities" (L.A. TIMES, 4/1).
MEETING OF THE MINDS: The AP's Jacob Adelman noted the "tone was mostly cordial" at the meeting, and AEG and Majestic reps "agreed on one thing Thursday: Pro football can be a major economic driver for the region." Majestic Realty VP John Semcken said that the stadium his firm wants to build in City of Industry "would draw large numbers of fans to Los Angeles without exposing it to the risk of having the venue built within its borders." AEG COO Dan Beckerman countered that his company's proposal for downtown "would involve much-needed improvements to the adjacent convention center." Beckerman argued that a "downtown stadium would have better public transit service along with more nearby bars and restaurants for fans." Semcken responded that Majestic's project "has more parking and space for tailgating parties" (AP, 3/31). National Resources Defense Council attorney David Pettit, who opened his commentary at Thursday's meeting "by suggesting a downtown stadium would be more environmentally friendly than a stadium in Industry, backed off when asked about traffic congestion, parking and the emissions of idling cars." He said, "It's hard to say because AEG's proposal hasn't really come out yet, so I don't think it's fair to make comparisons" (SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE, 4/1).