As the people behind Staples Center unleashed three visions for a proposed new NFL stadium downtown, they said that the design for the venue would be chosen in January.
Anschutz Entertainment Group's downtown stadium is on the fast track. “We will make that decision within 30 days or so,” project manager Tim Romani of Icon Venue Group said Wednesday night.
Under this plan, a stadium would be ready for the 2015 football season, he said.
“We want to host a Superbowl as soon after that as possible,” Romani said. ” … All systems are go for fall of 2015.”
Romani and Ted Tanner, AEG's executive vice president of real estate development, did a good job of selling the stadium plan to the press.
Confronting criticism that such a dense, urban stadium with fewer parking options than Majestic Realty's San Gabriel Valley proposal would curtail the football tradition of tailgating, Tanner said:
“We hope people will be tailgating at LA Live … on campus rather than in cars and in parking lots, which we think will be a lot safer.”
Yeah, and it will put some of that beer money in AEG's pockets, too. LA Live boasts of more than a few bars.
“This is a gift, I think,” Tanner said, ” — a great opportunity for our community.”
The veep admitted that the “hard cost” of the project, called Los Angeles Event Center and including an expansion of the Convention Center, would cost $1.35 billion instead of the $1 billion number that had been used previously.
That would include $300 million or more in city bond money to tear down the old West Hall of the Convention Center and expand that facility.
AEG continues to say that public money would not be used for the project.
But the Convention Center, which could be handed over to AEG as part of the deal (Tanner marveled at the center's proposed expansion and noted that many new hotels want to move into the area), is worth something to the city.
It makes money. The land is worth something. The West Hall is worth something too.
Of course, the stadium could bring jobs — 25,000 of them, according to AEG.
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