Plugged In: Kathryn Schloessman, LASEC
As president of the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission, Kathryn Schloessman’s job has been to help secure major sports and entertainment events for the greater Los Angeles area. Since the NFL Rams and Chargers have moved back to L.A., the LASEC has been able to do just that. Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s decision to privately finance a state-of-the-art stadium at the site of the former Hollywood Park has given L.A. the chance to go after and host more major events.
When it was decided on Jan. 12, 2016, that Stan Kroenke was going to build a privately funded development, the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park — that was a game-changer. We bid on the Super Bowl and we won it. We bid on the College Football Playoff for 2023 and we won it.
The past: We’ve had a lot of great events in Los Angeles. I am on my 20th year. For the first 17 years I feel like we did a great job. We hosted NBA All-Star twice. We hosted NHL All-Star twice. We hosted the Grammys in that time frame, maybe, 17 times. We had the Breeders’ Cup. We had the U.S. Senior Open.
Win streak: Since 2016, when the [Kroenke stadium] announcement was made, our team — made up of the venues, city officials and LASEC board members — have bid on, and been awarded, the 2020 MLB All-Star Game, the 2020 NCAA Men’s West Regionals, the 2022 Super Bowl, the 2023 College Football Playoff. That is a pretty incredible winning streak for our Los Angeles team.
The future: We are currently bidding on a Final Four for 2024 or 2025 and we hope to win it. We are also in the running for a World Cup for 2026. The NCAA Final Four has not been played in Los Angeles since 1972, so I think it’s about time we had it back in Los Angeles. The World Cup was a different process because unlike other bids, we weren’t competing against the other U.S. cities but instead, we all worked together to make sure the United Bid Committee had the best options for the overall bid.
Traffic: What is very important to Los Angeles, from a tourism perspective, is to conquer the image of traffic. So many people who haven’t been to Los Angeles the last couple of years, they haven’t seen all the changes in our transportation system. No. 1, our public transportation is a lot better than it has been in the past. And more importantly, No. 2, we have a lot of money focused on upgrading our public transportation before the Olympics get here [in 2028]. So public transportation is getting better. You have to plan around traffic and you can.
On King James: The story I’ve been actively following is where LeBron James will be playing next year. Our city is on a roll, with all of the mega-events we have coming, and if LeBron comes to L.A. — where he already has a home — that will be icing on the cake and a huge win for this city.
— Liz Mullen