It was just a few days ago that LA was pretty certain it was getting an NFL stadium in Downtown. And if for some crazy out-of-left-field reason, that didn't work out, there was always the backup plan down in Industry. Now both projects are throwing curveballs (seriously, can we get a football metaphor in here?). First off, down in Industry, where Majestic Realty has been struggling to act like they could still win the NFL stadium war (i.e., a team or two), the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are now in talks to move that team to the planned stadium site. Their lease at Angel Stadium (in, duh, Anaheim) is up in 2016. The Daily News reports that "While officials at Majestic Realty Co. are still working hard to bring a National Football League team to Industry, they are open to building a baseball stadium instead, according to the source." That's a pretty huge switch-up--MLB teams have 81 regular-season home games every year, as opposed to the NFL's 10 or 12. No one's commenting on the record on this, but it could be a good way for Majestic to quietly take itself out of the NFL stadium race, which it has been losing badly to the Downtown LA stadium plan.
Meanwhile, just as that Downtown plan is almost through its city approval process, it comes out that project developer (and LA Live owner) AEG is up for sale. So far no one really knows what that means for the stadium, but it's certainly not a good sign that the city has been totally clueless about the sale while it negotiates with the company--the project includes not just the South Park Farmers Field stadium, but also the reconfiguration of the neighboring LA Convention Center, and under the deal getting approvals this month, the city will have to issue a complicated series of bonds. Mayor Villaraigosa appears to have been the only official who did know ("for some time now," according to a statement) and he's defending his decision not to tell, say, the "top city negotiator," according to the LA Times. Villaraigosa said he kept it quiet "Because we want a football team, and a lot of what happens here has got to be negotiated quietly." Meanwhile, the city has bent over backwards to get this stadium deal made, making the process very congenial for the developers. The City Planning Commission just approved Farmers Field and the City Council is set to vote on it (guess what: they'll approve it) on September 28. Right now officials are all agreeing that whoever buys AEG will abide by the terms of the stadium deal that's already in place. Well, ok!
Oh God, that guy who wants a stadium in Carson was right--all he had to do was wait.
· Los Angeles Angels of Industry? Majestic Realty, Angels in talks [LADN]
· Villaraigosa defends not telling city negotiators about AEG [LAT]