Yahoo! Sports reported last week that the NFL is still not happy with developer AEG's plans to build an NFL stadium Downtown and bring a pro football team back to Los Angeles (there have long been stories that the NFL doesn't like AEG's proposed team ownership plan, which has the company buying part of a team at a discount and essentially renting the stadium to them), and now AEG is saying that they have a backup plan if the football thing falls through. The Farmers Field NFL stadium proposal includes the demolition and partial rebuilding of the Convention Center, and AEG President Tim Leiweke told the LA Times today that "if AEG isn't able to lure a team and the stadium falls through, the company will continue to pursue improvements to the convention center." The current Convention Center plan, however, relies on bonds that are supposed to be repaid from stadium revenue; Leiweke didn't say how AEG might pay for just the Convention Center. But before we all start worrying about that, the paper also says that AEG head Phil Anschutz "is prepared to buy a full stake in a franchise if that’s what it takes." Meanwhile, a draft environmental report on the stadium project is due out Thursday (sneak peek: there'll be a Roscoe's by the Convention Center). AEG doesn't plan on making a deal with a team until its plan has been fully approved by the city, and probably won't figure anything out until at least next March, when the NFL has its annual meeting.
· L.A. Convention Center changes might happen even without NFL deal [LAT]