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LA Might Drag Out Dead Attempt to Get NFL to Downtown

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LA Live owner AEG has not given up hope that they can bring the Farmers Field football stadium to South Park, though pretty much everyone else has. They're asking the city for six more months to effectively lure the NFL to South Park, according to a statement; their original agreement with the city (made in October 2012) also included an overhaul of the desperately outdated LA Convention Center, and gives them through October 17 of this year to seal a deal. "In light of the positive tone of recent conversations, we feel it would be productive to continue this dialogue while at the same time further exploring alternative plans with the City," AEG president and CEO Dan Beckerman says. Who knows where this "positive tone" comes from all of a sudden, considering the NFL has been signaling for at least a year and a half now that it's not very interested in the Farmers Field plan and would prefer a football stadium in Chavez Ravine.

Since the Farmers Field plan has looked dead for a long time, the city of LA has been working on a contingency plan for updating the Convention Center without a new football stadium—they've launched a design competition for a renovation that could also include a 1,000-room hotel. AEG, in their new bid for more time, has offered to pony up the $600,000 the city needs to fund this design competition; they've also offered to kick in an additional $150,000 for the "review and consideration" of the designs, they say in their release. This would allow both plans—a convention center reboot with and without a stadium—to move forward at the same time. AEG, incidentally, has a city contract to operate the Convention Center.

As usual, it seems like AEG will get what it wants: Mayor Garcetti and City Council President Herb Wesson are both in favor of the extension. But will it be enough? The LA Times notes that the NFL is both supportive of an extension for more discussions with AEG and not totally ruling out other LA-area locations, like the Inglewood site purchased earlier this year by the St. Louis Rams' owner, Stan Kroenke.
· AEG to Seek Additional Time to Pursue NFL Project and Explore Alternative Plans With the City of Los Angeles [AEG]
· LA Officially Gives Up on the Downtown NFL Stadium Plan [Curbed LA]
· NFL Warns That They'll Control Any LA Football Stadium Plan [Curbed LA]
· Farmers Almanac [Curbed LA]

Farmers Field

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