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

Thursday, January 20, 2011
Updated: January 28, 2:55 PM ET
Downtown L.A. NFL stadium proposal

By Arash Markazi
ESPNLosAngeles.com

Phillip Anschutz
Philip Anschutz is the 'A' in AEG (Anschutz Entertainment Group).

The Project

• The L.A. Event Center in downtown Los Angeles
• • •

The Players

• Philip Anschutz, 71, Anschutz Entertainment Group
• Tim Leiweke, 53, Anschutz Entertainment Group
• Casey Wasserman, 36, Wasserman Media Group
• • •

The Plan

• Construct a new wing of the Los Angeles Convention Center, which would increase its size by 90,000 square feet. Then demolish the old West Hall and build a 64,00-seat retractable-roof stadium (expandable to 78,000 for Super Bowls and Final Fours), which would bring the total size of the new events center to 1.4 million square feet. The revamped 15-acre site would be the final piece of an AEG "campus" that already includes Staples Center, Nokia Theater and L.A. Live. The campus is expected to compete for every convention and event in the world, including the Super Bowl and the Final Four and future bids for the World Cup and Olympics.
• • •

The Projected Cost

• $1.35 billion (the stadium would be privately financed but the city would float $350 million in bonds to help finance the reconstruction of the Los Angeles Convention Center, which AEG has committed to repay with revenue from the stadium. "We won't take a penny from taxpayers," Leiweke promised).
• • •

The Possibility

• If reaching the end zone is beginning construction, the downtown group is at their 20-yard-line after receiving the opening kickoff. It's a good start but nowhere near where they want to be. The downtown proposal still needs to get past the environmental impact reviews in addition to the various reports and studies required for a project of this size on city-owned property. Leiweke is confident this will not be a problem. His opponents in the City of Industry say it will not be possible.
• • •

The Pros and Cons

• Location, location, location. Talk to the City of Industry folks and they'll tell you this is why the downtown project won't work. They point to the increased downtown traffic and the lack of parking and tailgating opportunities. Talk to the downtown crew and they'll tell you this is exactly why this is the only logical plan. This is the only real "Los Angeles" plan in contention, they say. "Industry is not Los Angeles," Wasserman said. The group contends there will be no traffic and parking concerns on Saturdays and Sundays in downtown and there will be ample parking and areas in and around L.A. Live to tailgate.