Development company AEG requested a six-month extension Monday of the firm’s agreements with the city to build a professional football stadium near Staples Center so it can continue talks with the NFL to land a team, or come up with an alternate plan for expanding the Convention Center.
AEG’s agreements with the city are set to expire Oct. 18. They were approved by the city in October 2012.
“We have resumed discussions with the NFL and, while much remains to be done before a deal could come together, we remain committed to this project,” Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of AEG, said. “In light of the positive tone of recent conversations, we feel it would be productive to continue this dialogue while at the same time further exploring alternative plans with the city.”
AEG requested the extension in a letter sent to Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Council President Herb Wesson and Councilman Curren Price.
Price said he supports the extension so the city can “keep all our options open” in regard to renovating the Los Angeles Convention Center.
“As chair of the Economic Development Committee, and as the council representative for the area that houses the Convention Center, I am focused on landing the best deal for the city,” Price said. “I support an extension for AEG at this time because it would help Los Angeles make a better case for landing a team, ultimately allowing our city to score the ‘touchdown’ — with or without a team.”
AEG’s request asked for more time to “pursue an NFL transaction,” evaluate and create a back-up plan for upgrading the convention center and put in motion a plan to build a 750-room hotel at L.A. Live, according to the company.
The company signed the agreement with the city in 2012 to build a football stadium as part of an overall expansion of the convention center. With the deal expiring next month, the company has yet to convince the National Football League to bring a team to Los Angeles.
AEG executives said it is still committed to upgrading the convention center, even if an NFL stadium is not included in the project.
“We share the city’s vision for an improved Convention Center with additional hotel rooms nearby and we do not want to delay the pursuit of those objectives,” Beckerman said. “Therefore, as part of our request for an extension, we are making some explicit additional commitments to advance development and consideration of alternatives.”
AEG is proposing to invest $600,000 over six months to fund the design of an alternative plan for the convention center’s expansion, and for a potential 750-room hotel. AEG also offered to pay $150,000 to cover the city’s costs of reviewing the plans.
The original deal with between the city and AEG called for the development of a $1.2 billion, 76,000-seat NFL stadium and $315 million convention center hall, along with a stand-alone ballroom and park plaza near Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.
— City News Service
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