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LA releases tentative agreement on stadium

July 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles moved a step closer to bringing a pro football team back to the city Monday with the release of a draft agreement between city negotiators and the company planning a downtown NFL stadium.

Officials said the non-binding memorandum of understanding, which still requires a City Council vote, contains taxpayer protections that go further than those initially sought by stadium planner Anschutz Entertainment Group.

One city hall administrator described the memorandum as a pre-nuptial agreement between AEG and Los Angeles.

The agreement calls on the city to issue $275 million in tax-exempt bonds for the relocation of a convention center hall to accommodate the roughly 72,000-seat venue. The bond amount was down from the $350 million bond issue that AEG had initially sought.

Los Angeles administrative officer Miguel Santana said the negotiating team's main concern was that money to repay those bonds would come from a reliable source and that city savings would not be put at risk.

In the agreement, AEG said it would pay 100 percent of the costs of the $1.2 billion to build a football stadium and a new addition to the convention center.

In its new collective bargaining agreement, the NFL has wording that would help finance a new stadium. The memorandum says the league would contribute $150 million dollars.

The agreement also says AEG would lease the land for the stadium and convention hall from the city of Los Angeles.

In a written statement, the president of AEG said he's confident that after the city council reviews the memorandum of understanding, it will "endorse this framework for a project that will boost the city's convention, hospitality and tourism sector, stimulate economic activity in the region and generate sorely needed jobs."

"This is just one piece of a much larger puzzle," said Councilwoman Jan Perry.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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