The stadium renderings are impressive. The sightlines are cool. And it’s fun to imagine how an NFL game in the heart of Los Angeles might look.
But we’ve seen dazzling L.A. stadium designs before. We’ve seen dozens of them over the last 15 years, in fact, and the nation’s second-largest market still doesn’t have an NFL team.
What really matters this time is where Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz stands on all of this, and whether he’s ready to invest the kind of money necessary to build the elaborate events center that his top executive, AEG’s Tim Leiweke, envisions. The stadium would be where the West Hall of the Convention Center now sits, next to Staples Center.
And so far, Anschutz is not 100% on board.
“Not yet,” said Leiweke, AEG’s president and chief executive, who did not attend his company’s news conference Wednesday evening to unveil the renderings of three competing design firms. He stopped to answer some questions on his way to his car at LA Live. “He’s getting there. This is a work in progress, and we’ve never made any bones about that. It’s always been a work in progress.
“We had to get everything lined up in order for [Anschutz] to give us the green light. We’re working on it, and we’re making progress. But we’re not there yet.”
Leiweke has a high-risk decision to make: AEG will have to start spending some real money in the next month or so