AEG Making Downtown L.A. NFL Stadium Pitch

Having brought the Staples Center, L.A. Live, and a convention center hotel complex to the South Park neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles, Tim Leiweke, is now pitching an NFL stadium that will double as an addendum to the convention center.

2 minute read

December 5, 2010, 7:00 AM PST

By Tim Halbur

The article is a transcript of a speech delivered by Tim Lewieke, president of AEG, in which he argues the benefits of letting AEG build a stadium to attract sporting events like the NFL, Final Fours, and more to Downtown Los Angeles:

"...if we do it, five new hotels will be built in South Park in Downtown Los Angeles: five new hotels; a billion-dollar stadium; and a $300-million expansion to the Convention Center. This isn't just a stand-alone stadium for eight or ten games. We'd change the dynamics of the economics of our city for all of us, forever."

"Don't build it for ten days a year-build it for 50 days a year. Design a football stadium as an event center. Design a football stadium that when you connect it to the Convention Center, and we can finally get the Convention Center right. Today we have a convention center that is less than a million square feet, but even worse, our convention center today is in three separate pieces. If you're a big convention looking for flat space, you don't come to L.A. You go to San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Omaha, Las Vegas, Orlando, New York, or Chicago, but you do not come to L.A. The Microsoft convention we just announced a few months ago in cooperation with Austin [Beutner] and the mayor, that was headed to Houston, Texas, is a convention that takes place in August. If you've been to Houston in August, you know we must be really bad to lose conventions to Houston in August."

"Most importantly, we have a billion dollars. We don't need financing. If Mr. Anschutz decides to do this, it won't be subject to financing. We can do this on our own. So, January 2012, we have to begin to build the new West Hall. Then we have to finish that, say that takes a year-and that's quick. January or February 2013, we've got to tear down the old West Hall. Then, within a month or two after that, we have to build the stadium. The stadium's going to take-my contractor, my construction project manager, my architect all say 36 months, and I'm like, "Look, if we build Staples Center in 18 months and that's a million square feet, we'll get this thing done in 30 months." But that's 30 months, and it's tight."

Thanks to James Brasuell

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