Potential downtown stadium construction scares off medical convention

AEG proposes to build a football stadium adjacent L.A. Live and Staples Center, which it also owns.
AEG proposes to build a football stadium adjacent L.A. Live and Staples Center, which it also owns. AEG

There’s no approved pro football stadium plan for Los Angeles yet, and no commitment from an NFL team. But the prospect that there might be in a couple of years has prompted a major medical convention to shift its location from L.A. to San Francisco.

The Society of Critical Care Medicine's convention usually draws about 6,000 members, exhibitors and sponsors to its annual congress.

Like most organizations of its size, this one announces its convention cities more than a year in advance. The society has let members know that it’s changed the 2014 congress site - because the L.A. Convention Center may be a construction zone for much of that year.

Developer Anschutz Entertainment Group wants to demolish the convention center’s West Hall and replace it with a 72,000 seat, NFL-ready stadium. A spokesman for the Society of Critical Care Medicine confirmed that it made its decision based on concerns that those plans could interfere with its meeting.

Convention business is one reason Anschutz built the L.A. Live entertainment and hotel complex and hopes to add a pro football stadium. Its officials say that combination will help downtown Los Angeles compete better with premium convention cities like Las Vegas and Chicago.

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