NFL@L.A.: Eli Broad

Potential AEG sale raises questions

September, 18, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- The Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Los Angeles Kings, the Los Angeles Galaxy and a portion of the Los Angeles Lakers, along with Staples Center and the Home Depot Center, is up for sale, the company announced Tuesday.

AEG was also behind Farmers Field, a proposed $1.5 billion football stadium in downtown Los Angeles, which was in the final stages of being cleared for construction subject to the company attracting an NFL team to the city.

So what does the sale of AEG mean for the future of Farmers Field and the return of the NFL to Los Angeles?

And while we're at it, what does it mean for the future of the Kings, the Galaxy, Staples Center and the Home Depot Center?

Well, the only person who can truly answer those questions is the next owner of AEG, and, of course, that person isn't known yet. Who knows whether the next owner of AEG has even thought about being the next owner of AEG? Considering how big and diverse AEG's assets are, the company could be split up and sold to different buyers, although a sale of the whole company to one buyer is AEG's focus, according to a source within the company.

In addition to its sports properties, AEG owns and operates a network of more than 100 arenas, stadiums and clubs in countries on five continents. The company also includes AEG Live, which produces music tours, festivals and special events, including the Coachella Music & Arts Festival, Stagecoach and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. AEG Live owns, operates or exclusively books 35 venues.

Most likely at some point in the near future, AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke will come out and say the day-to-day operations of AEG will not change in the interim and the company remains committed to Farmers Field and bringing the NFL back to Los Angeles.

Of course, that commitment is only as strong as the commitment of AEG's new owner. If that person is just as committed to the project as Leiweke is, it will continue; if he or she isn't, well, it will die as so many NFL stadium proposals in L.A. have over the past two decades.

Don't look for Philip Anschutz, the Denver billionaire who owns AEG, to lend any insight into the matter. He hasn't granted a formal interview request in more than 30 years.

Anschutz, 71, is worth $7 billion and is ranked No. 39 in Forbes’ list of the richest people in America.

A potential buyer of AEG could be Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who is the richest man in Los Angeles, according to Forbes and the Los Angeles Business Journal, with a net worth of more than $7 billion.

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