Downtown's NFL Stadium Dreams Are Dead
AEG, the corporation behind Staples Center and L.A. Live downtown, has abandoned its plans to build an adjacent NFL stadium.
The company's vice chairman, Ted Fikre, said in a statement sent to L.A. Weekly today that "we are no longer in disussion with the NFL or any NFL team."
Our focus is on the continued development of the L.A. LIVE district, and assisting the City of Los Angeles with development of its
Convention Center and the downtown core. We have advised the city that we will not seek further extension of the April 17 deadline for our Convention Center/stadium deal with the the city.
The City Council approved the stadium plans in 2011, and extensions of the deal have kept the dream alive. As part of AEG's proposal, the venue would have used some of the Convention Center's footprint, and the old West Hall would have undergone needed redevelopment and expansion.
AEG has taken over management of the Convention Center in recent years, so it makes some sense that the corporation would want to continue plans to somehow revamp that aging portion of that facility.
An AEG rendering of what the Convention Center would look like
The death of what would have been known as Farmers Field — a name that resulted from a tentative, $700 million, 30-year naming rights deal with Farmers Insurance — comes as Inglewood recently approved plans for an NFL stadium adjacent to the defunct Hollywood Park, and as the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders revealed plans to share a new facility in Carson if they don't get taxpayer-supported venues in their current cities.
The company Majestic Realty still has long-standing, "shovel-ready" plans to build an NFL stadium in the City of Industry, too.
The Los Angeles Times, which today broke the story of AEG's abandonment of its DTLA plans, said the company had spent $50 million on the project.
The stadium's main business architect was Tim Leiweke, who stepped down as AEG's president and CEO in 2013.
Responding to the news, L.A. City Councilman Curren Price sent out this statement tonight:
I continue to believe that the NFL should have a home in Los Angeles, and know that the Farmers Field proposal was by far the best put forward, but I understand AEG’s decision to shift focus. We will continue to move full speed ahead with the much needed expansion of the Los Angeles Convention Center. I look forward to a thorough review process of all design plans in the coming months as we work to secure the best possible project for the city.
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