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Football Teams Seem Nervous About Moving to Downtown LA

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The NFL is now accepting applications from teams that want to move to Los Angeles (and presumably to the proposed Farmers Field stadium in Downtown), and so far they've had zero takers. It is only day two of the six-week application window, but Tim Leiweke, president of Farmers Field developer AEG, thinks teams have been put off by plans, announced in September, to sell AEG. He told the Daily News that "there is no club currently that's going to file for a transfer simply because they are waiting to see what happens with our ownership situation." While that sounds fairly logical, it seems like only yesterday that Mayor Villaraigosa was assuring everyone that he had "the commitment from both [Leiweke and AEG owner Philip Anschutz] that this sale will not affect plans for an NFL team to return to Los Angeles in the near future."

So what is happening with the ownership situation anyway? There's a (not very) shortlist of "about a dozen individuals or companies" interested in buying AEG, which also owns LA Live, the Staples Center, parts of the Lakers and the Kings, and dozens of other properties around the world. Leiweke thinks AEG, which is expected to sell for $6 billion or more, could change hands as early as the first quarter of 2013, and he's still bullish on Farmers Field: "I think that it's going to happen."

The plans to bring a football team (or two) have hit several roadblocks since the city approved the $1.5 billion project in September. In addition to the AEG sale, the NFL is not so hot on the South Park stadium plans; they seem to have their hearts set on Chavez Ravine, home to Dodger Stadium. Construction will not start on Farmers Field until a football team signs a lease to move there.
·NFL teams interested in moving to Los Angeles face February 15 deadline [DN]
·The Downtown NFL Stadium Has Been Approved [Curbed LA]

Farmers Field

W. Pico Blvd. & S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015 Visit Website