Earlier this month, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) announced it was abandoning plans for an NFL stadium downtown. But the failure of AEG’s “Farmers Field” hasn’t derailed the sports and entertainment giant from trying to stop other stadium projects.
First, it objected to Inglewood’s stadium, commissioning two studies warning the location could be a top terrorism target.
Then last week, AEG wrote a six-page letter to Carson officials, complaining that they were circumventing environmental reviews to fast track construction.
The question is: Why would AEG be playing NFL party-pooper?
AEG declined to make anyone available to comment. But in a statement, the company's vice-chairman said it was only looking out for Carson’s best interest.
“As one of Carson’s biggest investors and business stakeholders, AEG has an interest in advocating for a responsible approach to major developments in the community,” said Ted Fikre, Vice Chairman, AEG.
AEG owns The Stubhub Center and the L.A. Galaxy, a Major League Soccer team based in Carson.
Fikre added: “The proposed NFL stadium project would entail extensive impacts in a variety of areas such traffic, parking, public services, signage, hazardous materials, air quality and noise, among others, and we feel it is only reasonable to ask and expect that a project of this magnitude, like others before it, be thoroughly vetted in a transparent public review and approval process to give the residents and businesses in Carson and surrounding communities a chance to understand and weigh in on the potential consequences, both good and bad.”
But Marc Ganis isn’t convinced AEG is being completely above-board. “It just doesn’t feel right," he said. Ganis is an NFL insider, having helped advise the Raiders and Rams on relocating from Los Angeles in the 1990s. He now works as a consultant for various NFL teams. “The timing doesn’t feel right."
And he finds the Carson letter particularly strange.
“That does seem a little bit out of bounds, quite frankly," said Ganis. "If they’re out of the race, and their project is off the table, why screw up someone else’s?”
We’ll keep following the story. Stay tuned.