Downtown L.A. NFL stadium
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A proposed NFL football stadium in downtown Los Angeles would be dubbed Farmers Field under a naming-rights agreement announced today by AEG, the Staples Center operators who hope to bring professional football to downtown Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the creation of a "blue-ribbon commission'' to analyze the downtown stadium proposal.
Anschutz Entertainment Group hoped to build a stadium adjacent to Staples Center, connected to the Los Angeles Convention Center. The estimated $1 billion project would be privately financed, with AEG officials repeatedly saying it would not be funded by taxpayer dollars.
The 30-year naming-rights deal with Farmers Insurance Exchange would help in that effort, AEG officials said.
"This groundbreaking agreement with Farmers not only makes this the largest long-term commitment in naming rights history, it also signals the most significant step forward in creating the football stadium and event center and bringing an NFL team back to Los Angeles,'' AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke said.
Villaraigosa said the project has the potential "to be a transformative force in teh city of Los Angeles, but it must be done right.''
He created a commission led by First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner and Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, to analyze the project.
"The commission will advise me on the merits of the events center proposal, helping to ensure that the interests of taxpayers are protected and that any plan that is approved is focused on job creation and long-term economic growth,'' Villaraigosa said.
Testifying recently before the City Council's Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee, Leiweke said the project would create 20,000-30,000 jobs.
As he envisions it, the West Hall of the Convention Center would be demolished to make room for a stadium design capable of seating 64,000-78,000 people.
A new West Hall would be built on a different section of Convention Center property, and the parking lot would be expanded, he added.
Leiweke said AEG is prepared to spend about $1 billion on the stadium, but added that $350 million in bonds would need to be sold to finance a new West Hall, parking lot, and debt.
He said the bond would be floated by "an entity to be created by the city,'' but he offered assurances that taxpayers would not be on the hook for it.
"If the new tax revenues generated from the city for that site are not significant enough to cover the annual debt service for those bonds, then AEG will step in exactly like we did with Staples Center and we will on an annual basis cover the shortfall of the debt service for the life of those bonds,'' Leiweke said.
By Fred Shuster | City News Service
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The president of Anschutz Entertainment Group told a City Council committee today that building a stadium for a NFL team would serve as a catalyst in redeveloping downtown Los Angeles and would not cost taxpayers a cent.
Tim Leiweke of AEG, the developer of Staples Center and L.A. Live, called the proposed project "a catalyst that will be probably the largest economic development in the history of downtown.''
At West Angeles Church of God in Christ a passionate Tim Leiweke took off his coat, threw it aside and tore into his subject.
Bishop Charles E. Blake, the pastor, sat on the front row in the church’s Crystal Room, and it’s possible he thought Leiweke had missed his calling.
The fire and the fervor were there, and so was a packed house of believers.
What had gotten the man of AEG so fired up? Was it football? Was it Farmers Field?
No, said Leiweke, president and chief executive of the entertainment conglomerate.
The potential Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) football stadium for downtown Los Angeles would spur major economic development and finance for the local economy, and in particular, for minority and small businesses. I strongly applaud the efforts of AEG, as well as Farmers Insurance Exchange, in their commitment to this historical project. The proposed football stadium will be dubbed Farmers Field under a naming-rights agreement announced by AEG.
There has been a buzz going through the city of Los Angeles, a perception that the National Football League is closer to returning here after the Rams and Raiders both bolted for sweeter land and stadium deals.
In the various discussions about the proposed stadium/event center that AEG, a subsidy development entity under the Anschutz Co., wants to construct in downtown Los Angeles, it is not enough to declare, “If you build it, they will come.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The company that owns Staples Center and is the driving force behind an effort to build a professional football stadium in downtown Los Angeles announced today it is being put up for sale.
Anschutz Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of the Anschutz Co. owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, also owns the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy and has a stake in the Los Angeles Lakers. It also owns the L.A. Live entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles and the O2 arena in London.