Southern California breaking news and trends

AEG President: Sale first considered this summer

AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke gives

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke told reporters that the potential sale of AEG could help bring professional football back to Los Angeles.

While Anschutz Entertainment Group has pursued a downtown L.A. stadium for two years, owner Phil Anschutz first considered selling his company this summer, company president Tim Leiweke said today.

Anschutz informed the twelve members of AEG's management team at the company's annual summer retreat, Leiweke added. He said the entire management team signed new five-year contracts to show their commitment to the company.

Leiweke’s remarks followed a Los Angeles City Council committee’s approval of the Farmers Field project, which is contingent on the NFL moving a team to Los Angeles. AEG officials hope to get a team in March. It would then be four years of construction as a new Convention Center hall is built to replace the West Hall, which would be torn down to make way for the 76,000-seat football stadium.

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AEG exec to appear before city council committee

AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke gives

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke gives a press conference in front of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, in 2009. He's expected to answer questions about the company's impending sale on Monday.

The Los Angeles City Council's Ad Hoc Stadium Committee is scheduled to meet Monday morning and is expected to hear from AEG president Tim Leiweke about how the company's pending sale might affect its proposal to build a downtown football stadium.

Last week, the Anschutz Entertainment Group announced it is on the market. The company, which owns Staples Center and L.A. Live, has proposed building a stadium in the same vicinity. The project has been in development with the city for years. 

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said last week that AEG owner Phillip Anschutz has assured him a buyer will be found who will accept the terms of the pending development agreement with the city.

The agreement calls for the city to issue more than $300 million in bonds to pay for demolishing and replacing the Convention Center's West Hall to make room for the stadium. The bonds would be repaid through revenues from a special tax district in the area and from AEG lease payments. 

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LA City Council reduces time for public comment on Farmers Field

AEG

The L.A. City Council voted to reduce the period for public comment on the Farmers Field plan. City officials said the decision was made to fit in with the NFL's timeline.

The period for public comment on the City of L.A.'s final agreement with the developers of Farmers Field was shortened Tuesday by the city council. City officials said shortening the time frame by a week was necessary because of a need to fit into the NFL’s timeline for considering a franchise in Los Angeles.

The city council is expected to give final approval to the Anschutz Entertainment Group’s proposed stadium on Sept. 28. Typically the city allows 24 days for the public to comment on an agreement. The council voted unanimously Tuesday to reduce that period to 17 days, beginning immediately. The city's chief legislative analyst said this would allow enough time to resolve any environmental concerns before the NFL decides in March whether to relocate a team to Los Angeles. 

Farmers Field is a proposed 76,000-seat stadium to be built next to Staples Center and L.A. Live. The plan is to build it on land currently occupied in part by the Convention Center’s West Hall.

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Farmers Field proposal to add exhibit space at Los Angeles Convention Center

Convention Center

Anschutz Entertainment Group

The proposed football stadium and new Pico Hall would add more than 100,00 square feet of exhibition space to the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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.

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AEG would fund new freeway lane, better train station to ease NFL stadium congestion

AEG's 10,000-page Environmental Impact Report

Shirley Jahad/KPCC

AEG's 10,000-page Environmental Impact Report

To ease the congestion created by football fans flocking to downtown Los Angeles, AEG says it would throw tens of millions of dollars at projects to upgrade freeways, city streets and public transportation stations.

AEG's 10,000-page Environmental Impact Report, released Thursday, notes that Farmers Field will have "unavoidable significant impacts" on the area, including the influx of an estimated 20,000 vehicles downtown on game days.

In an effort to avoid transportation bottlenecks, the group says it will pay $2.4 million to help fund an additional lane to the Hollywood Freeway, and $10 million for upgrades to a Metro Blue Line station located near the proposed stadium. 

The report also says the plan meets requirement of a carbon-neutral stadium

 

Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner

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