It has been sixteen years since professional football was played in the Los Angeles Area. And while previous attempts to bring a team back to LA have proved futile, everyone involved this time around seems optimistic that the NFL will return in the near future.
One of the proposed stadium sites is Downtown, where stadium mogul Philip Anschutz hopes to build Farmers Field next to Staples Center. The LA Kings owner is hoping to bring at least one football team to his downtown location, and may be open to buying a majority stake in a team.
Anschutz Entertainment Group, which has developed 12 arenas and stadiums worldwide, has been before the LA City Council with its proposal. However, in order for the stadium to fit at LA Live the Convention Center’s west hall would need to be reconstructed.
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“We’ll take down the old west hall, it’s 40 years old, currently it needs $80 million worth of taxpayer’s renovation to fix,” said Tim Leiweke, AEG president and CEO. “Instead of putting any taxpayer’s money into it, we’d build a brand new hall. And then we will guarantee a land-lease payment at Farmers Field, we will guarantee an advertising revenue payment for the convention center. And that when combined with the new property taxes we are going to pay at Farmers Field, and the new parking taxes from Farmers Field will cover, in fact more than cover, the debt service for the less than $300 million in bond money that will be borrowed to pay for the new convention center.”
Leiweke cited a recent study that concluded the stadium would provide millions of dollars to the city—a summary of the study was published, but full results will not be made public.
He underscored the jobs and economic benefit a downtown stadium would bring to the city.
Even though AEG is still in discussions with the city council, Leiweke said he is confident it will bring a team to downtown Los Angeles in the “near future.”