Proposed Los Angeles Football Stadium to Be Named “Farmers Field”

The 30-year, naming-rights deal with Farmers Insurance Exchange is potentially worth $700 million

A proposed NFL football stadium in downtown Los Angeles would be dubbed Farmers Field under a naming-rights agreement announced Tuesday by AEG, the Staples Center operators.

Now all they need is a professional football team.

Anschutz Entertainment Group plans to build the stadium adjacent to Staples Center, connected to the Los Angeles Convention Center. The estimated $1 billion project would be privately financed, with AEG officials repeatedly saying it would not be funded with taxpayer dollars.

The 30-year, naming-rights deal with Farmers Insurance Exchange, potentially worth $700 million, would help in that effort, AEG officials said at a news conference at the Convention Center.

"We will privatize the stadium, no hidden agendas," said AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke. "It will be paid for completely privately, we promise."

Leiweke said the 65,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof would be built on the site of the western hall of the Convention Center.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the creation of a "blue-ribbon commission" to analyze the downtown stadium proposal. The project has the potential "to be a transformative force in the city of Los Angeles, but it must be done right," he said.

The plan is one of two stadium proposals with hopes of attracting an NFL team to Los Angeles for the first time since 1995, when the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders returned to Oakland.

Testifying recently before the City Council's Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee, Leiweke said the project would create 20,000-30,000 jobs.

As he envisions it, the West Hall of the Convention Center would be demolished to make room for a stadium design capable of seating 64,000-78,000 people. A new West Hall would be built on a different section of Convention Center property, and the parking lot would be expanded.

Leiweke said AEG is prepared to spend about $1 billion on the stadium, but added that $350 million in bonds would need to be sold to finance a new West Hall, parking lot and debt.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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