Update: MLB reportedly denies this, as does AEG. Details at the bottom.

A baseball stadium in downtown Los Angeles? Built by the folks who own Staples Center?

Whew. This Frank McCourt mess has really shaken things up. Because the loathed Dodgers owner is the landlord at Dodger Stadium (and its treasured parking lots), even if Major League Baseball takes over the bankrupt team — as has been threatened — the new boss would still have to pay this guy rent. Eek.

So SPORTSbyBROOKS reports that …

MLB has reached out to Anschutz Entertainment Group to suggest that the Staples Center owner build it a new stadium downtown.

This on top of (or in place of?) much publicized plans by AEG to build a football stadium next to Staples, where the L.A. Convention Center's West Hall (which you own) now stands.

Dodger Stadium is the third-oldest venue in baseball, and there have movements in the past to replace and/or upgrade it. In fact, McCourt himself planned on a major upgrade before the recession hit.

Downtown, baseball-only stadiums are the rage, too. Witness the success of Petco Park in San Diego.

SPORTSbyBROOKS says AEG would not take an ownership role if it built the stadium.

(We have a call in to AEG).

Update: AEG denies the story, with spokesman Michael Roth telling the Weekly Wednesday afternoon:

AEG remains singularly focused on building Farmers Field as a stadium to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles and as part of the much-needed mondernization and upgrade of the L.A. Convention Center.

Update No. 2: Los Angeles Times sports staffer Bill Shaikin, omniscient of all things blue, tweets:

MLB spokesman Pat Courtney: “No truth” to rumor of talks between AEG and MLB about downtown baseball stadium.

First posted at 2:16 p.m. on July 13.


LA Weekly