L.A. councilwoman calls for report on downtown football stadium proposal
A member of the Los Angeles City Council called Tuesday for a report on how a new downtown NFL stadium would effect operations at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which would share the proposed site.
Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who heads the council committee that deals with tourism and trade, said she wants updates on all of the negotiations that are at play in a possible NFL deal.
“I think it’s a great idea to bring a football stadium to our city,” she said in a statement. “However, since the Convention Center is a city asset, we need to know the potential impacts that these plans may have on it.”
Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns Staples Center next door to the convention center, has been talking up the idea of taking it over, demolishing a portion and building a stadium with a retractable roof as part of the facility.
In her request for a briefing, Hahn noted that the city pays $46 million annually on debt incurred from the last major renovation of the convention center. She also said the city’s top budget official was considering asking outside companies to present proposals for privately managing the convention center.
Hahn has had extensive political ties to AEG in recent years. That company was the biggest donor to a ballot measure that rolled back term limits, allowing her to successfully seek a third four-year term. In addition, that company’s lobbyist is Chris Modrzejewski. His wife, Denise Modrzejewski, has been a fundraiser for two of Hahn’s reelection campaigns.
Between 2005 and 2009, Hahn’s council committees paid Denise Modrzejewski’s company, Niko Consulting, nearly $75,000, according to Ethics Commission records. Niko also raised money for Proposition A, Hahn’s 2008 anti-gang ballot measure, which fell just shy of the votes needed for passage in 2008.
Hahn said through a spokesman Tuesday that she no longer retains Denise Modrzejewski as her fundraiser. She also said that she made the motion on her own, without prompting from the Modrzejewskis.
-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall