Villaraigosa quips about Mayor Bloomberg's money in video promoting downtown L.A. stadium
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office shot a video to promote the city’s quest for an NFL team -- a production that features firefighters, mariachis, a surfer and, of course, the mayor himself.
In the one-minute spot, Villaraigosa promises viewers that taxpayer money will not be used to build a proposed downtown football stadium, planned near Staples Center. “This project will be 100% privately funded, but not by me. Who do you think I am? Mayor Bloomberg?” Villaraigosa quipped in a reference to New York’s billionaire mayor.
Although Anschutz Entertainment Group plans to build the stadium itself, the company is expected to seek a $1-per-year lease for the land under it, according to city officials. That land is owned by the city. The stadium proposal is linked to a plan to rebuild a portion of the Convention Center, which would require the city to issue $350 million in bonds.
Under the proposal, the bonds would be paid back with new tax revenue from the stadium and convention center. AEG has promised to make up the difference if there is a shortfall.
The video, which went up on YouTube on Monday morning and quickly showed up at la.curbed.com, was put together by the mayor’s new media aide and a group of interns, said Villaraigosa spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton. Those who appeared in it, including children from Hollenbeck Middle School, volunteered their time, she said.
Hamilton said the spot was meant to be “lighthearted” and focus on a team, not a new stadium.
-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall