L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa knew of AEG sale "for some time"
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Tuesday that he has known about the potential sale of Anschutz Entertainment Group "for some time" but said he did not expect a change in ownership to affect the company's plans for a downtown NFL stadium.
The company -- which owns Staples Center and the LA Live entertainment complex as well as championship sports teams including the Los Angeles Kings and L.A. Galaxy --announced late in the day that it was being put up for sale.
Villaraigosa said in a statement that he speaks with AEG President Tim Leiweke and company owner Philip Anschutz "on a regular basis" and had been kept in the loop.
"I have the commitment from both of them that this sale will not affect plans for an NFL team to return to Los Angeles in the near future and will not affect my support for moving ahead with Farmers Field and the Convention Center site," the mayor said.
City Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose district includes AEG's L.A. Live entertainment complex and the proposed NFL stadium, said taxpayer interests would be “well-protected” in the event of a sale.
Villaraigosa spokesman Peter Sanders said he did not think that a buyer had been identified and referred questions on that subject to AEG.
The City Council is 10 days away from a major vote on a $1.5-billion deal with AEG for a stadium and major renovation of the Convention Center. Asked if the mayor should have divulged the fluid situation surrounding AEG earlier, Sanders responded in an email: “No.”
-- Kate Linthicum and David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall
Photo: An illustration of where the proposed NFL stadium would be built adjacent to AEG's LA Live entertainment and hotel complex. Credit: AEG