Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) pitched a plan to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles. Rival development company, Majestic Realty, is already lobbying to build a stadium in City of Industry, but AEG’s plan would place the stadium smack-dab in the middle of Downtown Los Angeles, right next to the Staples Center in L.A. Live. The price tag? It could reach one billion dollars by the time all is said and done. For the plan, AEG would demolish the West Hall of the L.A. Convention Center to build a stadium to hold up to 78,000 seats. AEG’s President and CEO Tim Leiweke is urging the L.A. City Council to consider the plan – he says the project will create 20 to 30 thousand new jobs and bring in revenue through tourism and commerce. But he’s proposing that the city issue a $350 million bond to pay for a new West Hall, a parking lot, and debt. Leiweke says if tax revenues failed to repay the bond, AEG would cover the shortfall. Council members expressed concerns about the bond and $450 million still owed on the Convention Center, as well as the impact such a large stadium would have on L.A.’s already terrible traffic. Leiweke dismissed those concerns as well. So is it all worth it? Could an NFL stadium be the answer to the City of Angels' budget woes, or would the cons outweigh the pros? And if the proposal does go anywhere, L.A. would still need a team...
Matt “Money” Smith, host of the “Petros & Money Show” on Fox Sports Radio, heard locally in L.A. on AM570 KLAC
Andrew Zimbalist, Robert A.Woods professor of economics at Smith College; writes and consults in the sports industry; author of Circling the Bases: Essays on the Challenges and Prospects of the Sports Industry
Tim Rutten, columnist, Los Angeles Times