The LA City Council today gave final approval to plans to build a new NFL stadium downtown, a key step in returning a pro football team to the nation’s No. 2 media market by 2017. The $1.5 billion project, which includes upgrading a portion of the adjacent LA Convention Center, is the one proposed to be privately funded by Anshutz Entertainment Group — the same AEG that has just put itself up for sale. That complication, plus the fact the plans face potential lawsuits from environmental and anti-poverty groups, usually means a governing body might have reservations about moving forward. But AEG gave city lawmakers a bit of assurance this week the key players who have carried the ball this far plan to stay, with AEG president Tim Leiweke saying earlier this week he has signed a deal to remain atop the company no matter who ends up buying it (AEG is financing the deal with help from city redevelopment bonds). It’s clear by the 12-0 vote that the Council is fully behind the 72,000-seat Farmers Field and the projected 10,000 temp and 4000 full-time jobs it will create. It now sets up the next step: finding a team. It’s expected that a current franchise will relocate (Chargers or Raiders anyone?) rather than come via league expansion. Movement on that front could come as early as March at the NFL owners meeting.
LA’s NFL Stadium Plan Approved By City Council
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