Leiweke defends AEG project

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Last week, Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports painted a bleak picture regarding the construction of an NFL stadium in Downtown Los Angeles.  We thereafter explained that the AEG-backed project remains very much alive.

Now, AEG president Tim Leiweke has broken his recent silence, defending the project and knocking down the notion that the new buyers of the Dodgers will crash the pro football party in L.A.

How many deals have we done in this town?” Leiweke told a newspaper.  (Yep, if the “newspaper” is going to refer to Cole’s story on Yahoo! in condescending 2001 style as an “Internet report,” then the “newspaper” gets the same treatment from the Internet.)  “How many things do we own?  How many partnerships do we have?  Everything we have ever announced in this town for 16 years we’ve finished.  Have faith in us; we’ll get to the right place.”

Leiweke also is skeptical about the sudden emergence of the Dodgers Stadium area as a potential stadium location.  “People who go around saying, ‘Dodger Stadium, Dodger Stadium,’ here’s the reality.  How long did it take us to get a deal with the city of L.A.?  Took us a year.  We’ve just spent two years on an environmental impact report.  And we didn’t have the neighborhood they have.

“Phil Anschutz has spent $27 million so far in cash on the EIR, which should be a good indication of our commitment.”

The EIR — shorthand for Environmental Impact Report — will be released Thursday.  If/when the city approves the EIR and thereafter the stadium plan, a truncated period for resolving any legal challenges will commence.  Before too long, the AEG project could be shovel-ready, just like the project in the City of Industry.

The key will be luring a team to town.  And that may entail finding a team that can be purchased by AEG owner Philip Anschutz (pictured).

“Phil has committed a billion dollars privately to build a stadium and is prepared to spend another chunk if he has to buy the majority of a team,” Leiweke said.  “You can publicly state that.  He’s prepared to be a majority owner if that’s what it takes.”

That may indeed be what it takes.  But that may be far easier said than done.  First, Anschutz will have to find a willing seller.  Then, he’ll have to emerge as the winning bidder.  Then, he’ll have to secure approval to move the team to L.A., which surely will entail forking over a major “relocation fee” to the other 31 owners.

It’s not impossible, but it’s still an uphill climb with many pitfalls and hurdles.

14 responses to “Leiweke defends AEG project

  1. whywould he have to pay a relocation fee to the NFL. he will undoubtedly take a squad that is on the wrong half of the profit sharing line and will turn that club into an asset

  2. It appears Kroenke is in the buyin mood, not a sellin mood, so keep california dreamin for the rams, L.A.

  3. get a kick out of how the other 31 owners will get something…….

    Amy and Mark, only have this to be said on Al’s behalf, To Be continued.

  4. Wow. I just can’t believe that L.A. can’t get it’s act together enough to bring the NFL back. I’ve heard all the excuses, and I’m not buying. The Cardinals, with a caricature of an owner, a perennially losing team, one of the league’s weakest fan bases, and a fiscally conservative local electorate, didn’t take this long to get their state-of-the-art facility (Mr. Bidwill actually got a little bamboozled, when he first brought the team to Phoenix, but that’s a story for another day).

    Jeez, Angelenos, get it done. And bring back the Chargers. Over night, you’ll be a relevant NFL town again.

  5. It’d be a safe bet that Ziggy Wilf wants out from under the rag bag, rag tag, slip-shod, 3rd rate vikequeefs for $20 and a bag of peanuts.

  6. Listen to the Commissioner: He has said repeatedly that he would much prefer an expansion team in Los Angeles [with another expansion team elsewhere to have an even number of 34 teams]…rather than a team relocating from a current NFL city. As RG-K [for KING] continues to gain more and more power…this ‘preference’ will soon become a reality.

  7. I just don’t think the vikings are competent enough to move to Los Angeles. The just don’t seem able to do anything right.

    The vikings ownership group should be jumping at the chance to move but they aren’t.

    Never underestimate the vikings ability to screw up.

  8. HMMM, City of Industry is a much better location..Football is a Gladiator sport and needs to be showcased in WIDE-OPEN SPACES, Period!!..(See Patriots, Cowboys & Jets/Giants Stadiums for this prime example). Building a new Stadium in such cramped & congested area makes no sense what so ever..try getting a true football fan to tailgate in a parking structure!…what a joke!…PLUS!…the advantage of building in the Suburbs is that after a Superbowl and/or any major championship you don’t have to worry about the KNUCKLEHEADS that couldn’t afford to buy a ticket but simply want to walk-up to the stadium and start mindlessly RIOTING just like what happened with the last 2 LAKERS championships..talk about all the burden on taxpayers for the cleanup and riot police overtime pay…suburbs is the logical choice to build..Period!

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