L.A. Seeks Long-Term Commitment From NFL Team To Approve Downtown Stadium
L.A. Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller yesterday said that an NFL team "would have to commit to remaining in a proposed downtown Los Angeles stadium for 20 to 30 years for the city to approve the project," according to Rich Connell of the L.A. TIMES. Miller told the L.A. City Council that the city "will seek 'hard-and-fast agreements' that a pro football franchise would not leave" AEG's proposed Farmers Field "until city debt related to the project is repaid." SportsCorp President Marc Ganis, "who has worked on many NFL stadium projects," yesterday said that "securing a long-term commitment from a prospective Los Angeles team is possible." But he added it "won't be simple." Ganis said that complications include the L.A. area's "poor record with NFL teams, the lack of a major public subsidy for the stadium and the fact that the team may not also own the stadium." Connell notes negotiations on a "preliminary stadium agreement are expected to take about three months." Miller made his comments yesterday at the "first meeting of a special council committee charged with reviewing the stadium plan." L.A. Council member Bill Rosendahl "signaled that he may press for even more city revenue, including a share of the reported $700 million in naming rights AEG has already sold to Farmers Insurance." L.A. Council member Tony Cardenas said that the city also "needs to scrutinize AEG's proposals to control additional advertising signage around the stadium," including at the neighboring Convention Center (L.A. TIMES, 4/19).
THE BIGGER, THE BETTER: The AP's Jacob Adelman noted AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke has said that the company "may ask the city for a contract to manage the entire convention center site, which would bring some 100,000 contiguous acres of downtown Los Angeles, including the AEG-owned Staples Center indoor arena and the LA Live complex, under the company's management." L.A. Council member Jan Perry said that AEG's proposed convention center configuration was "preferable to the one envisioned by the 2001 deal that nestled the expansion within LA Live." But she added that the city "should not surrender rights to the parcel ahead of schedule unless AEG offers a commensurate tangible benefit in return as part of negotiations" (AP, 4/18).