Anschutz ‘Moving Forward’ on $1 Billion Los Angeles Stadium

AEG Head Philip Anschutz
Philip Anschutz, head of The Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). Photographer: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Billionaire Philip Anschutz is moving ahead with plans to build a $1 billion stadium in Los Angeles and lure two National Football League teams.

Anshutz’s AEG Worldwide will release a 10,000-page environmental-impact report next week, said Michael Roth, a spokesman for the closely held, Los Angeles-based company. AEG spent about $27 million preparing the report, a required step in the approval process, and designing the 60,000-seat stadium, named Farmers Field, Roth said.

AEG may run into new competition to build an NFL stadium. Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. and Guggenheim Partners Chief Executive Officer Mark Walter, who agreed this week to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.3 billion, spoke to the NFL about building an arena adjacent to the baseball team’s stadium, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday.

“We are moving forward,” Roth said in an interview about the AEG plan. “We have no concerns.”

AEG’s stadium proposal may be in peril if the company doesn’t offer better terms to the NFL and football teams that would relocate to Los Angeles, Yahoo! Sports reported yesterday.

Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the NFL in New York, declined to comment on the report.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa attended a December meeting in Denver with representatives of the NFL and AEG at which the league’s concerns about the proposed stadium were discussed, according to Peter Sanders, a spokesman for Villaraigosa.

‘Raiders and Rams’

“The mayor will continue to do everything he can to bring an NFL team to L.A., and as he’s said before, we’re closer now than at any time since the Raiders and Rams left but we still have a long way to go,” Sanders said.

The Raiders, in Oakland, California, and the Rams, of St. Louis, departed Los Angeles in 1995.

Anschutz proposes to finance, build and own the stadium, controlling sponsorships, premium seats, parking and concessions, according to a report last year from Los Angeles’s chief legislative analyst. Generally, NFL teams keep game-day revenue, it said.

“The deal is not very good from the standpoint of the league or a team,” Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp Ltd. in Chicago, said in an interview. “As a general proposition it doesn’t fit the model.”

Buyers are also bidding up the rights of sports teams because they command ever-higher fees for media rights, a factor analysts attributed to the record price bid for the Dodgers.

Roth declined to comment on talks with the NFL or specific teams. AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke is in regular contact with the league and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, Roth said.

“The league is very aware of where we stand,” he said.

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