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LA NFL stadium reveals naming deal w/ Farmers

February 1, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A group of investors is pressing ahead with an ambitious plan for a pro-football stadium in downtown Los Angeles.

It is certainly a field of dreams. Build it and hopefully they will come, "they" being the NFL. It's a big step to get a team back to Los Angeles.

Investors want to build the new facility next to Staples Center and they want to name it "Farmers Field."

It was a first class presentation. A scaled down football field, balloons, and sports celebrities all hoping to impress the NFL.

"We're getting closer and closer to bringing football back to Los Angeles," said former Laker Magic Johnson. "And boy am I excited."

Entertainment company AEG announced Tuesday plans for a state-of-the-art stadium and event center which would be located at the current Los Angeles Convention Center along the 110 Freeway.

Farmers Insurance has agreed to a 30 year deal to get its name on the new facility.

"The private sector and the public sector once again creating a partnership we created with Staples Center," said Tim Leiweke from AEG. "A private, public partnership to be the catalyst for the number one driver in our economy- tourism and conventions."

The idea is that this will also attract more conventions and other events to Southern California. Los Angeles has been without a professional football team since 1994 when both the Raiders and Rams left town.

"The idea that this city, the second largest media market in the United States of America," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "The idea that we don't have a football team boggles the mind."

The stadium will cost $1 billion, but officials stress it will be entirely privately financed.

"It's not just a football stadium," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Jan Perry. "It will make us truly an event campus and they will do it with their money. It will be private money. They will not touch the general fund and it will not be a taxpayer expense."

"The mandate, the momentum and the vision we have," said Leiweke. "To now get this across the finish line and in 2015 bring the NFL and the 50th Super Bowl back to L.A."

The reality of getting a stadium here is still years away. First, an NFL team would have to move here. Then, it would have to be approved by the NFL. If that happens, construction would begin in 2013 and it would be completed by 2015.