If plans move forward for the Farmers Field football stadium in downtown Los Angeles, the city’s Convention Center is likely to see its overall space increase by more than 200,000 square feet, a city council committee was told today.
The Anschutz Entertainment Group wants to build Farmers Field next to its L.A. Live entertainment complex on a piece of land that is currently home to the Convention Center’s West Hall. Construction plans call for the demolition of the West Hall, which would then be replaced with Pico Hall, a building that would be contiguous with the rest of the Convention Center.
“When you have all the activity around L.A. Live, it’s basically creating its own universe around this facility,” said Councilman Ed Reyes, a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Proposed Downtown Stadium.
There is 767,000 square feet of exhibition space in the existing Convention Center halls, according to John Wickham with the office of the Chief Legislative Analyst. Pico Hall would bring the exhibition space to a total of 911,711 square feet. The Convention Center would actually lose meeting space under the new place, but the addition of Farmers Field and a multipurpose room that could be used as meeting space or a ballroom would be the total size of the Convention Center to 1.1 million square feet.
Chicago and Las Vegas are two of the top locations for conventions, with more than 2 million square feet of exhibition space. The new hall will make Los Angeles more competitive in the business, but for reasons beyond just the square footage.
“Competition comes into how well we effectively coordinate across this expanded sports and entertainment campus. So, we have and will be moving into a capability that’s pretty extreme. We’ll be able to go up against venues nationwide,” said Phillip C. Hill, interim general manager of the Convention Center.