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Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong (left) is no stranger to Los Angeles sports. In 2010, he bought Magic Johnson's (right) minority stake in the Lakers and is now interested in acquiring AEG, the entertainment empire that owners the Staples Center arena.
Days out from the announcement that AEG is up for sale, speculation is in full swing as to who will scoop up the entertainment empire at the heart of the effort to lure the NFL back to Los Angeles.
Possible bidders for AEG, which owns the Staples Center and has a stake in three LA professional sports teams, include a biotech billionaire as well as a sports mogul and several entertainment giants Dodgers fans will recognize from the Blue Crew’s sale earlier this year.
Denver-based Anschutz Co.’s putting itself on the block has further complicated the plan to bring a professional football team to Los Angeles – an undertaking that’s been more speculative than solid.
And it’s raised questions that may be left unanswered for months. Will the new buyers be keen on the NFL-in-LA project? How much longer will LA football fans have to wait for the plan to finally come to fruition?
Owner Philip Anschutz, 72, said in April he was willing to buy an NFL team. His company already owns the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, Major League Soccer's LA Galaxy and a minority stake in the LA Lakers.
But now that he’s on his way out, what does that mean for the future of an NFL franchise?
Here’s a look at the potential bidders who may finally push the plan along:
Whoever picks up the entertainment empire will have to have deep pockets. AEG’s buildings alone – which include the Staples Center and LA Live – are worth in excess of $2 billion, according to Forbes.
Sources close to the deal say AEG has indicated privately that it expects to sell for $5 billion to $7 billion, though no official price has been set, according to the Los Angeles Times.