Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Report: AEG should operate Los Angeles Convention Center

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Management and operation of the Los Angeles Convention Center should be turned over to Anschutz Entertainment Group, the city's chief budget officer recommended Tuesday. 

The arrangement would take place regardless of whether or not AEG builds a football stadium adjacent to the convention center. AEG has proposed to build a new convention center wing if the stadium goes forward.

The decision to select AEG over another operator, SMG, was made by an independent panel, according to City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana. SMG operates convention centers in Detroit, New Orleans and San Francisco, among other cities. AEG manages centers in Australia, Malaysia, Oman and Qatar. 

"The AEG proposal presents an enhanced, cost-effective and unique experience for all Convention Center visitors," Santana wrote in his report. 

Back in April, AEG was kicked out of the evaluation process for refusing to disclose its finances. The bid process was ultimately restarted. AEG already owns the LA Live complex that sits next to the convention center. If the NFL eventually moves back to Los Angeles, AEG will tear down the center's West Hall to make room for the Farmers Field stadium. AEG's stadium agreement with the city expires in the fall of 2014.

Just last week, Los Angeles City Council members met to discuss how they could make improvements to the Convention Center while they await word from the NFL. 

The city council is expected to vote on the convention center management proposal within the month, with an agreement in place by the end of the summer. 

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