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Looking to Understand the Stadium Deal? $859 Million is the Important Number

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, July 28, 2011, at 07:44AM
Farmers Field Gensler

Rendering of proposed Farmers Field, which would be built on the site of the Convention Center's aging West Hall.

If you want to know why City Council seems so eager to see AEG's Farmers Field proposal work, there's one important number that you need to know: $859 million.

That number, presented by Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller during a Wednesday night session on the stadium and events center proposal, is the swing in impact to the general fund that the city would see if it chose to turn down AEG's offer and instead do its own Convention Center renovation in the next ten years.

According to Miller, the proposed $1.2-billion facility would net the city $210 million in "net new" tax revenues over 30 years once money that would be used to repay bonds on the new Convention Center hall is subtracted.

On the other hand, if the city were to pass up the proposal, it would still need to look at a Convention Center modernization plan to make the outdated facility competitive in attracting the types of events that generate hotel room stays and visitor spending. That work would likely require the borrowing of $350 million, Miller told the Councilmembers on hand for the ad-hoc committee meeting. Over the life of the bonds, that capital would cost the city $650 million.

"The city is in the convention center business," said City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana. "It's an important part of what we do. Like anything else, we need to invest in it. In the context of the next ten years, it's hard to imagine that we wouldn't make that investment on our own if we intend to remain competitive."

The council's ad-hoc committee studying the project will meet again on Thursday evening in Van Nuys, and then the issue will move to the full City Council on Friday. That body is not expected to take final action on the proposed deal announced earlier this week, and Councilwoman Jan Perry told those in attendance at Wednesday's session that she intends to have another meeting of the ad-hoc committee next week before the item goes to Council for a final time.

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