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Leiweke discusses NFL team, stadium in L.A.

The man who runs Staples Center says an NFL stadium deal could be worked out within months, with a team close behind.
December 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
New developments Wednesday in the campaign to bring a new stadium and NFL football team to downtown Los Angeles.The man who runs Staples Center says a stadium deal could be worked out within months, and a team may be close behind.

The prime mover in the L.A. stadium campaign says the multi-billion dollar facility will be an economic boost in the downtown area, and will be built without taxpayer money.

Tim Leiweke, president of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), believes they could have a deal worked out by March for a National Football League stadium. It would be built in the Los Angeles Convention Center, which would be torn down. In its place would be built a 65,000-seat stadium; and without taxpayer money.

Leiweke's appearance sold out Wednesday's luncheon for the first time. The subject was bringing back an NFL team to L.A. and further rebuilding the area around Staples Center and L.A. Live. It could be a team like the Chargers looking to move. Leiweke says they won't steal a team.

"I believe that what we need out of the NFL, we can get out of the NFL. I do not think they are going to be an issue, because they understand the risk of putting up a billion dollars to privatize a stadium here and they want to help, they want to get it done, they want to come back to L.A.," said Leiweke.

AEG promises to put up all the money to build a stadium. If it costs more, they will guarantee to pay the overrun, even if it's $2 billion. AEG believes having the NFL back in L.A. could have a $1.6-billion-per-year economic impact on Los Angeles.

"We will build a stadium for a billion. If it costs more, we'll pay for it. We do a land-lease deal with the city, we take full responsibility for the stadium, we put up all the money to operate it, to upgrade it," said Leiweke.

Leiweke promises it's going to be the most environmentally friendly stadium ever built. There's already parking available for 32,000 vehicles within 15 minutes of the location, and they will build parking for 4,000 more.

Leiweke played off his first name, Tim: "If I don't get a football stadium built, it will be 'Terminated -- Immediately Move.'"


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