L.A. stadium developers tweak pitch
LOS ANGELES -- The developers proposing an NFL stadium for downtown Los Angeles tweaked their pitch to the city on Monday.
AEG's Tim Leiweke told a town hall meeting that he would ask the city to issue less than $300 million in bonds as part of the deal, down from $350 million. The debt would be repaid by sharing advertising revenue and with property taxes, in addition to stadium ticket surcharges and new venue-related revenue from city-owned parking lots, Leiweke said.
Los Angeles officials overseeing stadium negotiations said this month that city rules would permit only 50 percent of new city revenue to go toward bond payments.
The debt would be used to finance the demolition and relocation of the convention center hall displaced by the stadium.
Leiweke also vowed to post a bond to pay for the project's completion in case AEG had financial troubles that keep it from finishing the work. The bond would be posted after ground is broken on the new convention center building, he said.
Leiweke said the company was completing a full environmental review, but conceded that it was talking to state lawmakers about how to protect AEG from what he characterized as frivolous legal challenges to its environmental clearance. He said he hoped the deal with lawmakers is one that environmental groups would support.
AEG's $1 billion plan for a 72,000-seat stadium on part of the city's convention center campus is one of two competing proposals to bring pro football back to Los Angeles, 15 years after the Rams and Raiders left the nation's second-largest market within months of one another.
Warehouse magnate Ed Roski has permits in place to build a separate 75,000-seat stadium about 15 miles east of Los Angeles, in the city of Industry, but also hasn't secured a team.
Both camps have said they hope to recruit a franchise -- and possibly two -- from among those in the league that need a new stadium but are unable to get one built in their current locations. The San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars are among the teams often mentioned as possible candidates.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press