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

April 14, 2011 |  6:52 pm

Final City Hall approvals for a downtown Los Angeles pro football stadium could take a year, considerably longer than the project’s developer initially wanted, according to a report issued Thursday.

Key deal points of the $1.4-billion project next to Staples Center are expected to be presented to City Council members and the public in about three months, Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller, the city’s chief representative in closed-door negotiations, wrote to council members.

If a tentative deal is approved after public hearings, detailed legal agreements would be drafted and presented to the council for a vote in about 12 months, Miller wrote in an update to a special council committee reviewing the proposal.

Timothy J. Leiweke, president and chief operating officer of Anschutz Entertainment Group, the stadium developer, said early this year that he hoped to have an agreement with the city in March. AEG is pushing to complete the project, which includes moving part of the city-owned Convention Center, in time to bring the 50th Anniversary 2016 Super Bowl back to Los Angeles, where the first championship game was played.

On Thursday, AEG said in a statement, “We believe that the timeline described by Gerry Miller is appropriate and we are continuing to move forward with the project.… We look forward to an open and transparent process.”

The new report was prepared for the council’s stadium committee's first meeting, scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday in Room 1050 of City Hall.

The panel is headed by Councilwoman Jan Perry, who represents downtown and has spoken positively of the project. The panel’s vice chair, Westside Councilman Bill Rosendahl, has raised a series of questions about the project’s financing and benefits to the city.

Also on the agenda is a set of negotiating principles recommended by Miller, as well as the selection process for an architect to design a new Convention Center hall. The current West Hall would be demolished to make room for the stadium.

-- Rich Connell