It could be the end of an era for professional sports in Los Angeles. Philip Anschutz, head of the Denver-based Anschutz Co., announced that he will be selling off the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) subsidiary.
AEG is the company behind local sport franchises the Kings and the Galaxy, minority holder of the Lakers, and owner and operator of Staples Center and the rest of the L.A. Live complex. Additionally, AEG owns real estate and entertainment venues all over the globe, which is further supported by the world’s second-largest concert promotion business behind Live Nation.
The bidding war will kick off soon, and will certainly generate the same enthusiasm and interest that occurred with the recent sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers. While it is certain that the deal will end up with a ticket price in the billions, what’s less certain is who or what entity will be up to the task of taking on the huge sports and entertainment empire.
Will it be a group of wealthy investors, or a private-equity firm that could buy it all up and then sell it off in discriminate pieces? The details of the impending sale aside, this could also pose an obstacle to getting an NFL team in L.A., as AEG was serving as that cause’s primary cheerleader. How will the effort to get a team in L.A. be affected by this news? And what about the face of L.A.’s downtown? What is the future for L.A. Live?
Jan Perry, L.A. City Councilmember, 9th District (includes downtown Los Angeles)
Andrew Zimbalist, Sports Economist; Professor of Economics, Smith College in Massachusetts
Brian Watt, KPCC Reporter