City Council OKs Downtown AEG Extension Deal

Plan gives developer six more months to lure an NFL team to the proposed Farmers Field or develop a back-up plan for the area surrounding the convention center.

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a six-month extension deal Tuesday that gives developer Anschutz Entertainment Group additional time to find an NFL team for its planned downtown stadium.

As part of the arrangement, AEG will also use the time to explore alternatives if a team cannot be persuaded to make the proposed Farmers Field its home.

"It gives the NFL and AEG a chance to continue with the discussions on getting a team here and it gives us a chance to use this six month period… it develop some plans for a convention center with or without a stadium," said Councilman Curren Price.

AEG has committed to spending $750,000 for a study of expanding the convention center, a top priority for most of the council.

"NFL teams can be really good for the economy. Can be," Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said. "So we have to look closely at what those details are."

Multiple reports have said the NFL and AEG are back at the table discussing a possible relocation of a team to Los Angeles, with some indications it could happen by next year, with an announcement soon after the 2015 Super Bowl.

Under the existing deal, signed in 2012 and expiring in four days, AEG promised it would build the stadium and lead an overhaul of the Los Angeles Convention Center. But as talks with the NFL stalled, some local officials have pressed for the city to redevelop the convention center on its own to spur economic development in the area.

In its letter requesting an extension, AEG said it also wants the opportunity to develop an alternative to the stadium option, including the development of a large hotel near its L.A. Live Complex and Staples Center.

"We share the City's vision for an improved Convention Center with additional hotel rooms nearby and we do not want to delay the pursuit of those objectives," said Dan Beckerman, president and chief executive of AEG, in a written statement.

In its request, the conglomerate pledged to spend up to solicit designs for the convention center expansion and proposed hotel development.

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