L.A. City Council President Remains Optimistic Over AEG's Farmers Field Deal
L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson is "guardedly optimistic" that AEG’s Farmers Field project "still has a heartbeat and that a downtown stadium will ultimately be the home of an NFL team,” according to Sam Farmer of the L.A. TIMES. Wesson yesterday said, “I still feel that it’s alive.” He added he is “on bended knees, praying.” Wesson: “We think we can see the finish line, then (the NFL) moves it back another 10 yards. But we have to keep trying. I believe Los Angeles is the place for a team. We can’t bully our way into it. When you look at the Farmers Field project, it’s the only project in town that’s pretty much shovel-ready.” Wesson said former AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke "has done a phenomenal job, and he’s great for Los Angeles. But there’s something about having a billionaire discuss and negotiate with other billionaires that I think puts us in a better position” (LATIMES.com, 3/26). FORBES.com’s Mike Ozanian cited sources as saying that AEG Chair Phil Anschutz pulled the company off the market and parted ways with Leiweke because Anschutz "got wind that Leiweke was trying to influence the choice of a buyer for AEG." The sources added that Anschutz "became infuriated and fired him and ended the sale." Ozanian: "Makes sense. Why wouldn’t Leiweke want to have a say in who bought AEG given he was hoping to stay on? Trouble is Anschutz asked Leiweke to make sales presentations, not try to determine the winner” (FORBES.com, 3/25).