The Farmers Field Downtown NFL stadium project, which included a revamp of the aging LA Convention Center, has never been officially pronounced dead, but it's been unofficially dead for ages now, and the city has been looking into making its own updates to the Convention Center, just in case. Now, with developer AEG's deal to build the stadium expiring in October and no NFL interest in sight, the city's started talking with architecture firms that might lead the project, says the Downtown News. The Bureau of Engineering has reached out for proposals, three of which will be selected to participate in a design competition. Convention Center Executive Director Bud Ovrom says it's important to get moving on the process, even if it means spending a little money before Farmers is officially off the table: "[I]f we don't get a football team, we need to be able to dive into renovations fast, since we can't afford to lose more conventions."
The argument against finding a new design is that somehow, magically, the Farmers Field plan might get started before the deadline, but that's not a very strong argument. Though there's no plan yet, the upgrades to the Convention Center are looking pretty pricey: AEG's budget was $300 million; the city estimates it will spend anywhere from $200 to $300 million. Ouch.
· City Begins Looking at Convention Center Upgrade Without Farmers Field [DN]
· LA Looking at Ballroom and Other Convention Center Updates [Curbed LA]