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Council to Consider Stadium Motions

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, at 11:55PM
L.A. Event Center Proposal by Gensler Gensler

This rendering by Gensler was one of three designs unveiled in December.

AEG’s proposal to build an NFL stadium and events center next door to Staples Center gets its first official airing at City Hall on Wednesday as the City Council’s Trade, Commerce and Tourism committee hears a pair of motions dealing with operation of the Convention Center and the process for stadium talks.

To build its $1-billion structure, AEG needs a deal with the city that would allow it to tear down the Convention Center’s aging West Hall and build an addition onto the newer part of the facility.

Councilwoman Jan Perry’s motion (CF 11-0023) calls for a working group to be set up that would be the single point of contact for any negotiations on that proposal.

“To do it on the public record, in front of taxpayers, is something that we will be very deliberate about,” she told blogdowntown last week.

Perry said that the idea of replacing the West Hall is “not a new concept,” but that it is important that no business be disrupted.

“We can not afford to lose any revenue,” she said.

A motion by Councilwoman Janice Hahn (CF 11-0020) asks for an update on the city’s plans to solicit offers from private operators interested in running the Convention Center. The Council approved the drafting of such a privatization proposal last February.

Update (Wednesday, 11am): We will have a full story coming later today, but in the interim here are a few wrap-up thoughts from this morning's session:

  • Councilmembers Janice Hahn and Tom LaBonge clearly love this project. Hahn asked the most questions during the session, but afterward she made clear that she sees this as an opportunity that the city can't afford to miss.

  • Tim Leiweke backed off his March deadline slightly, saying after the meeting that the date was only one by which the framework needed to be in place for a city deal. That's a good thing, too, since there's no real chance that a full agreement could be reached that quickly. Councilwoman Jan Perry told blogdowntown that she thought six months was more realistic for a full analysis.

  • Convention Center head Pouria Abassi said that he believes that without this deal, the West Hall needs a $50 - $100 million rehab or the city is out of the convention game within ten years. Still, he said, that money wouldn't get the facility where it needs to be.

  • Abassi also downplayed loss-of-business concerns, saying that scheduling and phasing is part of the convention business.

  • The motions now move to Council, which will officially approve the creation of a working group that would head up financial analysis and negotiations.

  • If you really want to get down-and-dirty with the hearing, you can download the whole thing as an MP3.

» Live Updates — Last: January 19, 2011

  • 10:35AM NFL Stadium hearing is all wrapped up. Working on my notes to write up a more complete story. (ERIC)
  • 10:03AM Public comment is just getting started (ERIC)
  • 09:54AM Speaking of deadlines, Leiweke never mentioned his March timeframe in his remarks to the committee (ERIC)
  • 09:51AM The question that hasn't come up yet is the timetable for all of this stadium / Convention Center analysis. (ERIC)
  • 09:46AM CAO's office was short on answers when it came to the bond issues. "We would have to review what is being requested." (ERIC)
  • 09:37AM Convention Center head Pouria Abassi says the city is falling way behind in infrastructure investment for the facility (ERIC)
  • 09:27AM Now up: Marc Lieberman from LA Inc (ERIC)
  • 09:23AM Leiweke: AEG will be the #1 funder of the Downtown Streetcar project (ERIC)
  • 09:19AM Tom LaBonge, always thinking ahead: make sure to plan for how you could use this to host an Olympics (ERIC)
  • 09:18AM Councilwoman Jan Perry has arrived for the stadium hearing (ERIC)
  • 09:17AM AEG did Sunday traffic studies and is looking to show the footage to people to try and mitigate traffic fears (ERIC)
  • 09:14AM Leiweke believes stadium could get two Final Fours in ten years (ERIC)
  • 09:10AM Leiweke is finishing his proposal. No new details, just talk of bonds, private funding, etc (ERIC)
  • 09:01AM NFL metaphors are getting bad here. LaBonge: "Penalties for too much time in the huddle?" Leiweke: "Red flag for replay?" (ERIC)
  • 09:00AM It'll be Leiweke, LA Inc, Convention Center, CAO, then CLA (ERIC)
  • 08:59AM Hahn asks Leiweke to come up and give a summary of AEG's plan to start the presentation (ERIC)
  • 08:58AM Ok, now we're getting started on the stadium item. Hahn and Perry motions are getting taken together. (ERIC)
  • 08:57AM Janice Hahn: "Somebody count how many football metaphors Tom LaBonge uses today." (ERIC)
  • 08:51AM First up, TCT committee approves variable parking rates for the Convention Center, allowing it to do demand-based pricing (ERIC)
  • 08:51AM Councilmembers in the room are committee chair Janice Hahn and Tom LaBonge (ERIC)
  • 08:46AM Tim Leiweke is in the house for Trade, Commerce and Tourism. That increases the chances that this meeting is interesting. (ERIC)
  • 08:45AM Another test to make sure the live blog backend is working (ERIC)

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