Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
AEG prez wants NFL team in L.A.

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- The president and CEO of AEG, the company that owns LA Live and Staples Center, said Tuesday that he is exploring a deal for the company to manage the adjacent Los Angeles Convention Center as part of a plan to bring an NFL team to downtown.

Tim Leiweke said at a downtown business forum that he and City Councilwoman Jan Perry have discussed a plan to redevelop one of the convention center's halls into an exhibition space that could double as an enclosed NFL stadium.

Leiweke made his remarks a day after Majestic Realty Co., which is planning a separate stadium some 15 miles east of Los Angeles, said it is tweaking its design to lure World Cup soccer matches.

Leiweke mentioned the World Cup and NCAA Final Four games as events that could take place in the downtown stadium as well.

But he said it would also boost the city's convention and exhibition business, which he predicted would ripple through the downtown economy.

"Game, set, match. Everything else will come," he said. "Retail will come, transportation will come and people will move back down here."

The potential plan would require AEG to invest $1 billion to build the stadium. Leiweke said the company would also consider asking the city for a contract to manage the entire Convention Center site, including the new structure.

Leiweke said the proposal would nearly double the amount of exhibition and meeting space in the convention center from 867,000 to 1.4 million square feet.

Including Staples and the LA Live hotel, retail and entertainment complex, the deal would bring some 100,000 contiguous acres of downtown Los Angeles under AEG's management, Leiweke said.

Majestic has the necessary approvals to build its 75,000-seat stadium in the city of Industry but has said it will not begin construction on the $800 million project until it secures a team.

Messages left with Perry and the Convention Center were not returned.