Involvement Of Phil Anschutz Seen As Positive Step Toward L.A. Getting NFL Sooner
Nearly one year after L.A. officials approved AEG's downtown Farmers Field plan, there has been "rekindled optimism in local political and corporate circles that one or two teams could be playing" in the market when the '14 NFL season begins, according to Scott Reid of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Those developments "include AEG’s talks with NFL franchises about relocating; a more active role by [AEG Chair] Phil Anschutz in those discussions; favorable exit clauses in stadium leases of four franchises; and the support from key NFL owners" such as the Cowboys' Jerry Jones. AEG Vice Chair and Chief Legal & Development Officer Ted Fikre said of Farmers Field, "This project is ready to go, ready to be built, which differentiates from other sites, including Dodger Stadium." L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson said of having Anschutz involved in talks instead of former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke, "Having Phil involved is ... a game-changer. Now you have a billionaire in the room with other billionaires." However, Reid wrote NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has "long been fascinated by the thought of a stadium on the hill, an NFL venue overlooking downtown Los Angeles and beyond from Chavez Ravine next to Dodger Stadium." L.A. City Council member Tom LaBonge said, "Today the National Football League builds shopping centers around fields and dining halls around fields. I love L.A. Live but it’s putting (Farmers Field) between the back cleat of the left guard and the left tackle. It is very tight down there. I look at Dodger Stadium and there’s a lot of land around it" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 9/1).