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NFL

Decision On NFL Team For L.A. By March? That's What Staples Center Honcho Tim Leiweke Wants To See

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Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 7:08 AM
click to enlarge The Convention Center, and Staples, by sky.
  • The Convention Center, and Staples, by sky.

Angelenos could find out if we're getting an NFL team within three months.

That's the goal Staples Center boss Tim Leiweke set for the NFL to give us the green light (and a team), he told downtown business leaders this week.

And next month, he said, the Staples-owning Anschutz Entertainment Group will begin seeking permits from the city to begin tearing down the West Hall of the Convention Center in order to build a $1 billion, 65,000-seat stadium.

That was quick.

When we talked to him recently, Leiweke emphasized that the downtown stadium was only an idea, and that AEG's takeover of the taxpayer owned money machine known as the Convention Center was not a sure thing, either.

Now, Leiweke says, the company will have plans for the stadium complex ready for City Hall's review in January.

"We're going to give this our best shot over the next three months," Leiweke said Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. "This is the second-largest marketplace in the United States and we're going to act like it."

Part of the redux of the Convention Center would be paid for by a proposed $300,00 million in public bonds that Leiweke says AEG would guarantee if increased tax receipts don't cover them.

But part of the plan might also see City Hall give control of the Convention Center, which makes a humble profit, to AEG, a company controlled by billionaire Phil Anschutz.

City leaders have been talking about giving the Convention Center away to an entity that can run it more efficiently (and thus send more dollars to city coffers) since last fiscal year's budget crisis.

All of a sudden this stuff is moving really fast.

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