LA Wants Alternate Plans

With the AEG sale off the table and plans for a downtown football stadium still hanging in the lurch, Los Angeles officials want to hear alternative plans from the company about both the stadium and the planned Convention Center overhaul.

Councilwoman Jan Perry hopes the city can continue to work with AEG in drawing an NFL franchise and building a stadium despite a shakeup in the company’s executive ranks and the departure of former president/CEO Tim Leiweke.

Officials agreed March 27 to consider a “parallel track” for redeveloping the Convention Center, adjacent to the proposed Farmers Field stadium site next to Staples Center.

Perry told the Los Angeles Times she remains “hopeful” that the city and AEG can continue moving forward on both projects as planned. But the city is clearly hedging its bets.

A special city council committee asked chief legislative analyst Gerry Miller and CAO Miguel Santana to come back within 30 days with other options for renovating the aging Convention Center’s west hall and other properties, according to the Times.

Among the options are a new hotel, floating bonds and implementing new taxes to help pay for the upgrade, Santana told the paper.

The city council approved agreements in September with AEG on stadium construction plans, but with Anschutz Co. chief Philip Anschutz reportedly in a showdown with the NFL over bringing a team to L.A. and the abrupt resignation of Leiweke – who enjoyed strong relationship at City Hall, officials are getting itchy.

Anschutz and the NFL have reportedly assured the city they continue to work together on bringing a franchise to town, but City Hall officials told the paper they have no choice but to consider alternatives to the plan.

Councilman Bill Rosendahl told the Times he is “still outraged” that Anschutz and Leiweke parted ways and accused AEG of “playing some games with us.”