The people who intend to build an NFL stadium in downtown L.A. have chosen an architect for the project, Gensler.
Anschutz Entertainment Group went with the firm that also designed its neighboring development downtown, Staples Center.
The stadium, which doesn't have the blessing of the city yet or even an all-important environmental impact report, does have a reported $700 million naming-rights deal. It'll be called Farmers Field. And …
… It will be built on land you own, at the L.A. Convention Center — if City Hall approves.
Tim Romani, honcho at ICON Venue Group, AEG's owner's representative for the project, says:
Today's announcement represents a significant milestone and is a further sign that AEG is determined to make Farmers Field a reality while providing the leadership to modernize the Los Angeles Convention Center. There is no doubt that the new jobs associated with this project combined with the expected increase to the tourism and hospitality industries will have a significant, positive effect to the City's economy.
AEG states that the environmental report is “targeted for completion at year's end.”
Gensler, meanwhile, is expected to get to work on the project, with “initial design drawings” due in early 2012.
No rush. Even AEG has admitted that if this deal happens, the key piece of the puzzle is getting an NFL team. And with the NFL stuck in a labor quagmire, that ain't going to happen any time soon — maybe not even in 2011.
AEG says it will selected a separate architectural firm to redevelop the West Hall of the Convention Center, which would be torn down to make way for the stadium.
The company has said it will rebuild the convention center space. The new portion of the Convention Center would be renamed “Pico Hall.” Construction would begin in 2012 (interesting since AEG has essentially said it won't move forward without a team),
AEG has stated that it will build the stadium without taxpayer help, but it does want the city to float about $350 million in bonds that it said it will guarantee.