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Politics, government and public life for Southern California

AEG's bid to manage convention center hits a snag

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The City of Los Angeles and an affiliate of Anschutz Entertainment Group have a difference of opinion over the company's application to manage and operate the Los Angeles Convention Center, according to a report released Tuesday. 

For years, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has sought to turn over management of the convention center to a private operator. At the same time, AEG proposed demolishing an existing wing of the center to make way for the Farmers Field football stadium. New convention space would be built near the South Hall. Those construction plans are contingent on the NFL agreeing to move a team to Los Angeles. 

AEG Facilities was one of two firms that responded to the city's request for a management proposal last December. Part of the application asked for financial information, including several years of  income statements, balance and cash flow statements, and credit reports. AEG management responded that, as a private company, it does not release financial information. 

The city's chief administrative officer determined AEG's application to be "non-responsive." The company disagrees. 

AEG spokesman Michael Roth said in a written statement:  "We look forward to demonstrating AEG’s strong qualifications to manage this facility, as we firmly believe it is in the best interest of the city to select AEG as the operator of the Convention Center given our complimentary assets at L.A. LIVE, our track record of delivering on prior public-private partnerships with the city and our organizational resources uniquely suited to attract additional events to Los Angeles." 

AEG's interest in managing the convention center is not contingent upon Farmers Field being built.

The city's chief administrative officer, Miguel Santana, declined to name the second firm that responded to the RFP until the process is complete. The issue is expected to be discussed in a joint session of the Budget and Finance and  Trade, Commerce and Tourism committees on Monday at City Hall. 

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