Tim Leiweke, chief of Anschutz Entertainment Group and its well known local venues such as Staples Center and LA Live, has said it until he's almost blue in the face. He's nearly had a few read-my-lips moments.
Not a cent of taxpayer money will be sunk into the development of the NFL stadium he wants to build next to Staples.
Associated Press read the fine print of AEG's NFL pitch to the city and concluded this, however: The company wants to take over 2.4 acres of prime downtown space that it previously promised would be off limits until at least 2021.
AP's Monday night report explains that, under a 2001 deal to develop LA Live, AEG promised to sit on the “event deck” level of LA Live land in case the city wanted to use it for Convention Center expansion.
But under the NFL stadium proposal, “the city no longer needs access to the parcel, which experts said could be developed into retail and office space worth millions to the company each year in leasing revenue, because a new convention center building would be built along with the 72,000-seat stadium it has proposed,” AP writes.
AEG spokesman Michael Roth told the wire service, “If the city is not going to use it, then there's no need to hold it for them.”
And if the company wanted to build atop the parcel, it would have to go through normal city approvals, he said.
AEG owns the land, according to AP, but promised only to use it for Convention Center expansion, apparently in exchange for LA Live approvals.
Now, it seems, that deal is changing.
Cal State L.A. prof Gregory Andranovich says “it's an opportunity for AEG to push something through much faster and with less scrutiny.”