Anschutz Aims for NFL Decision on Los Angeles Team in Next Three Months
Anschutz Entertainment Group will fund construction of a $1 billion stadium and try to lure one of the National Football League’s 32 teams to Los Angeles, AEG Chief Executive Officer Tim Leiweke said.
AEG, the closely held company controlled by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, aims to reach an agreement with the NFL in the next three months for a Los Angeles- based team, Leiweke said yesterday at a lunch for downtown Los Angeles businesses.
AEG wants to build a 65,000-seat stadium on the site of the western hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, adjacent to the company’s L.A. Live entertainment district, Leiweke said. AEG is in talks with city officials and in January will submit plans and begin the permit process, he said. The company would replace the convention space displaced by the stadium.
“We’re going to give this our best shot over the next three months,” Leiweke told the audience at the JW Marriott Los Angeles hotel. “This is the second-largest marketplace in the United States and we’re going to act like it.”
AEG’s announcement comes as NFL team owners are looking for ways to reach a new labor agreement with players. Teams are preparing for a possible disruption of next season if those efforts are unsuccessful, Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters on Oct. 13.
The downtown Los Angeles stadium also faces competition. Majestic Realty Co. Chairman Ed Roski Jr. has agreed to build a stadium in City of Industry, California, as soon as he can lure a team to Southern California.
Leiweke said AEG will narrow 12 proposed designs for the stadium to two or three by January. AEG will add 4,000 parking spaces, bringing the total in the area to more than 32,000, and incorporate light-rail connections, he said.
Sales at AEG’s L.A. Live entertainment district, which includes restaurants, nightclubs, the Nokia Live Theatre and the Staples Center arena, will exceed $100 million this year, Leiweke said. The JW Marriott, which AEG financed, is averaging 87 percent occupancy, he said.
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