AEG’s Magic NFL Partner
AEG and Tim Leiweke have a new partner in their drive to build a downtown stadium in Los Angeles and return the National Football League to the city.
Magic Johnson recently joined the push after reportedly selling his stakes in the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and more than 100 Starbucks franchises.
“I’m announcing this today: I’ve teamed up with Tim Leiweke at AEG, and we’re gonna come together to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles,” Johnson said during an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
The news could give AEG a leg up on another group with the NFL in its sights being led by developer Ed Roski, who’s trying to bring a stadium to the suburban City of Industry area.
Both groups recently approached the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings about relocation, according to the team’s VP of public affairs Lester Bagley. The Vikings have been pushing to get a new stadium built in Minneapolis as the team nears the end of its lease at the Metrodome.
But during a recent online chat on the Vikings website, Bagley also insisted the team is hopeful that with new leadership in place in the state, the Vikings will see their venue dream become a reality.
“Instead of spending energy speculating on other markets, let’s keep the focus on building a world-class facility for the community and state of Minnesota,” he said.
The Vikings aren’t the only team being courted by Angelenos.
Toronto sports radio station the Fan 590 reported Nov. 30 that Anschutz “has or will purchase” 35 percent of the San Diego Chargers.
The report followed an announcement from the Chargers last month that the team was planning to sell off a minority stake.
However, when pressed on the issue, officials for the team denied the Fan 590 reports.
“There is no truth to the rumor out of Toronto that the Chargers have agreed to sell a portion of the team to Mr. Anschutz,” Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said in a statement.
The Chargers have also been in the market for a new stadium in the region for several years. The team’s lease at the city-operated Qualcomm Stadium runs through 2020 but the Chargers reportedly have an option to relocate by paying a $25.8 million exit fee between February and May of next year.