AEG Flirts Again With NFL

Los Angeles County may not have an NFL team, nor does one appear to be on the horizon, but it has two new stadium plans in the works.

In addition to a proposed venue in the City of Industry, the specter of a potential rival has been resurrected for downtown L.A.

AEG’s Tim Leiweke and influential businessman Carey Wasserman are said to be seriously looking into developing a privately financed stadium, with a roof, near the L.A. Convention Center. That particular locale would make it an anchor of the L.A. Live complex and a Staples Center neighbor.

The addition of a roof opens possibilities beyond simply attracting a team. It would make a new stadium attractive to marquee events including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, World Cup soccer finals, the NFL draft and scouting combines.

“This is just thinking right now,” Leiweke told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s saying, if we’re going to invest this kind of time and money anyway – even if it doesn’t cost taxpayers a dollar – shouldn’t we think about the other uses if we had a roof to cover it?”

There are a lot of hurdles to be leaped, to say the least. The land under consideration is owned by the city of Los Angeles. There is no team, and it’s estimated it would cost $1 billion to buy one (unless an existing owner moves in).

And there’s the prospect of going head-to-head with developer Ed Roski, who already has “an entitled and shovel-ready piece of land” in the City of Industry.

But don’t bet against Leiweke and Wasserman just yet. They both likely would have the support of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and downtown councilwoman Jan Perry.

And, as it turns out, another potential ally – billionaire Stan Kroenke, also known as a friend of Phil Anschutz – is a member of the NFL’s Los Angeles Stadium Working Group committee, according to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

He’s also a 40 percent owner of the St. Louis Rams, which once called LA home.