Villaraigosa calls on AEG to 'live up to' downtown stadium deal
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called on Anschutz Entertainment Group on Thursday to "live up to its commitment" to bring an NFL team to the city through a downtown football stadium deal that would also expand the convention center.
"For the past three years, the City has expedited our process and lived up to our end of a deal to bring the NFL to Los Angeles and create a world-class convention center," Villaraigosa said in a statement.
"Now that AEG is no longer for sale and they have indicated that bringing an NFL team to L.A. remains a priority, I call on AEG to live up to its commitment by immediately sitting down with the NFL to reach an agreement."
However, the mayor said the city would not wait for AEG "or any other party" to move ahead with needed convention center improvements. He called for the city's top financial administrator to come up with "options within the next 30 days" to ensure that modernization moves ahead "no matter what."
With the city's convention business seeing a record number of visitors last year, he said, "we will continue to pursue the important work of making downtown L.A. a better place to work, live, visit and dine regardless of whether the NFL and AEG reach that agreement."
On Thursday, AEG announced that it was halting efforts to sell the company, and longtime chief executive Tim Leiweke left his post by mutual agreement with AEG owner Phillip Anschutz, a Denver billionaire.
-- William Nottingham