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L.A. wants guarantee NFL team wouldn't leave proposed downtown stadium

Naming-rights announcement for the proposed NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles

A National Football League team would have to commit to remaining in a proposed downtown Los Angeles stadium for 20 to 30 years for the city to approve the project, a key city negotiator said Monday.

The city will seek “hard-and-fast agreements” that a pro football franchise would not leave a proposed $1 billion stadium to be built on public land next to the Los Angeles Convention Center until city debt related to the project is repaid, Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller told a City Council panel.

The developer, a subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group, has proposed tearing down and rebuilding part of the Convention Center to make way for a privately owned stadium that would complement the firm’s other holdings in the area, including Staples Center, the LA Live entertainment district and two hotels.

The Convention Center work would be financed by $350 million in city borrowing. AEG has promised to make up any shortfall in new tax revenue needed to repay the debt.

Under questioning from Councilman Tony Cardenas, Miller said the added city debt would be repaid over 20 to 30 years and officials want to see contracts ensuring that an NFL team “will be staying as long as those bonds are outstanding.”

Los Angeles officials and fans are sensitive about such commitments because the city has lost two NFL teams in the past — the Raiders to Oakland and the Rams to Anaheim and eventually St. Louis.

At this point, neither AEG nor a competing developer proposing a stadium in the city of Industry has an NFL team lined up.

At Cardenas’ request, Miller agreed to explore how the city can guarantee that a team would not leave the stadium with the city still owing money. “This is one of the major issues,” Miller said.

Marc Ganis, a Chicago-based consultant who has worked on many NFL stadium projects, told The Times on Monday that securing a long-term commitment  from a prospective Los Angeles team is possible but "it won't be simple." Complications include the Los Angeles area's poor record with past NFL teams, the lack of a major public subsidy for the stadium and the fact that the team may not also own the stadium, he said.

However, to protect themselves, cities can require that any public indebtedness be paid off before a team can relocate, he said.   

Negotiations on a preliminary stadium agreement are expected to take about three months.

Monday’s exchange came at the first meeting of a special council committee charged with reviewing the stadium plan. The 8 a.m. session at City Hall was attended by about 30 union leaders, representatives of AEG, present and former city officials and city staff members.

The panel agreed to explore holding future meetings in various parts of the city at more convenient times for working residents.

Members also approved preliminary negotiating principles for Miller and other city representatives. One proposed term could generate several million dollars a year in new revenue for the city. At least half of any new property, sales, business and other taxes spun off by the development should go to the city’s general operations account, city officials agreed.

That will be a key bargaining point. The more revenue the city takes from the project, the less that will be available to repay Convention Center reconstruction costs, potentially increasing AEG’s future outlays.

Councilman Bill Rosendahl, the panel’s vice chairman, signaled that he may press for even more city revenue, including a share of the reported $700 million in naming rights AEG has already sold to Farmers Insurance. “If we own the land ... why shouldn’t we get a portion of the naming rights?” he asked.

Cardenas said the city also needs to scrutinize AEG’s proposals to control additional advertising signage around the stadium, including at the Convention Center.  “We need to be careful not to leave anything on the table,” he said.

Several representatives of unionized hotel workers, stage hands, electricians and construction workers strongly endorsed the project, saying it would help revive the city’s job market -- unemployment in the city is slightly above 13%. AEG has estimated 12,000 construction jobs and 10,000 permanent jobs will be created if the stadium is completed.

Committee Chairwoman Jan Perry, who represents the project area, said she hopes a deal can be reached so the Convention Center can be modernized. Various studies have shown major improvements are needed to make Los Angeles more competitive with big convention cities such as San Diego, Anaheim and San Francisco. But the cash-strapped city hasn't been able to come up with a plan to finance the upgrades.

AEG officials expressed confidence that agreement could be reached on matters discussed Thursday but declined to delve into specifics issues. “Everything is part of the negotiations,” said Michael Roth, AEG’s vice president of communications.


Approvals for L.A.'s downtown football stadium could take a year, report says

-- Rich Connell   

Photo: Cheerleaders added to the celebratory mood at the naming-rights announcement for the proposed NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 1. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (67)

ed frecker: You're welcome. You can have the Minnesota Timberwolves too for all I care. The attendance is pathetic.

no public money
tax the hell out them
and guarantee they'll contribute to public transportation funding.

This is not wanted or needed in any way by virtually all of the LA citizens. It is a plan to put money in the hands of the rich and powerful.

No one, and I repeat no one will be able to afford going to games especially when they must burn so much gas waiting on the freeway to get there and find a $50 parking space...if available.

Don't you think if LA really wanted a team...the public would have been far more proactive over the last decade?

NEVER...NEVER trust anyone who tells you something is free...it is just a prelude to getting screwed.

Everyone knows this deal is rotten for the people of LA.

The corrupt politicians will benefit and will AEG.

No wonder theyre working fast to get this thing built...

How about investing in our transportation infrastructure instead? It's so under-sized it should be criminal......405 is half the size it should be so we have every street in every direction bumper to bumper for two to three hours(or more in the summer) a day. Why should the city have to loan them money if it makes so much money?? Cities are extremely stupid for doing this. Every study done shows they NEVER even come close to making their money back on the initial investment. Let alone when you factor in the upkeep. As if we need something else to help make traffic worse....

Don't do it L.A !!!

Why pay for a team that will make money for the rich ?
Why waist your Tax Payers hard earned money for a team that no one will care about.

NFL = stupid investment.

At least Nascar pays for it's stadiums .
Why should Tax Payers pay for a team that is for profit for the owners?

Wake up City Cancel and don't do it.
I love the City of Los Angels and it's people .
I would hate to see them ripped off by the NFL.

Oh and I sure do miss L.A ..
Should have never left , It's a city with a soul.

Build it in Orange county......nobody wants to go into the bowels of the cesspool they call LA to watch a football game.....can anyone say Gang Banger Heaven.....

What L.A. should also want a guarantee of is that there will be plenty of parking for tailgating and R.V.s. Without that, the stadium idea should be a no-go. Can't take tradition away from the game. Otherwise, why have it?

We don't need another sports team. Lakers, Clippers, Kings, Ducks, USC, UCLA,and maybe the Sacremento Kings. We've done fine with out an NFL team and we certainly DO NOT need to spend this kind of cash on sports when everything else in LA is in ruin, schools, LAPD you name it. Move the 1BILLION into a private trust to help LA out of its financial ruin. RIP NFL in LA!

who cares, it will look like Dodger stadium.. won't be any different.

nobody is coming..

You have our(Minnesota) Lakers
Dallas has our (Minnesota) NorthStars

You can Have; Timberwolves (Kevin Love stays)
WE GET; Lakers Back ( with Kobe)

WE KEEP; The VIKINGS ( with snoop doggs purple car)


Great Farmers insurance uses my money to put their name on the stadium.. what a joke!!!!!!!

LA already has a football team, Two in fact; and they never go on strike. UCLA and USC... everyone else can keep the NFL, enjoy next season btw...oh wait, there is no next season!!!

Let's just agree to keep the NFL out of LA.

There is no way, by any stretch of the imagination, that this project is going to produce 10,000 permanent jobs, yet no one has questioned it.

All the football teams and all the stadiums in the NFL combined don't add up to 10,000 permanent jobs. It's beyond absurd to believe numbers like this.

No one even mentions the additional traffic this will cause...

If the stadium were built in downtown, there's a chance that the NFL team would eventually leave. Attendance would be low because everyone would be stuck in a massive traffic jam! Plus there would be no place to tailgate! Fans wouldn't be able to enjoy our nice weather either because the architectural firm is talking about a closed roof design. People would just choose to watch it on TV instead. I think downtown LA has to be the worst place to put an NFL stadium.

I thought they said there would be no public funding?

@ Jay:

I hope ur right!! Grand Crossing (City of Industry) is where the stadium shud be

Everyone I know in LA is for it - just sayin...those of you that say LA doesn't need this are only speaking for yourselves.

Those of you that say an NFL team can only come at the expense of education or roads are setting up a straw man.

Don't even waste my tax dollars on putting another football team in Los Angeles. I'm tired of all the subsidies and money going to these football team owners. And tired of the ungrateful football players.

Great, another venue for gang bangers to beat down innocent people.


If they ask UCLA to play there as part of the deal, I hope the administrations says no. Tale-gating would suck or be banned there.

I like the Industry site better and better.

@ Tom (4:22p comment):

This stadium is not gonna happen, so don't worry!!

The majority of Angelenos don't want it 4 various reasons and they'll shoot it down during the EIR process or w/ lawsuits IF it gets ALL green lites from the city, nfl, and a team.

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