And with a whimper, out goes Farmers Field, which for a large part of the past half decade was the greatest hope Los Angeles had for wooing back an NFL football team. Just this morning, developer AEG—which had hoped to build Farmers next to its successful LA Live and Staples Centers in Downtown LA's South Park—was embarrassing itself with fakey reports claiming rival stadium plans are terrorism magnets and other desperate act. Now AEG Vice Chairman Ted Fikre tells the LA Times the company won't try to extend a development agreement with the city that's set to expire in April. AEG first proposed the Farmers Field plan in 2010 and brought in Farmers Insurance as the naming sponsor in 2011; it's spent about $50 million overall on the effort.
Farmers Field and its 41 billboards fell out of favor ages ago, as the NFL whispered behind the scenes that it would prefer other locations and that it was unhappy with AEG's financial proposal. (Meanwhile, many residents were not psyched about having a little-used stadium smack in Downtown or about the sweet tax rebates the city offered AEG.) Then, in the past two months, two Southern California stadium plans have popped up with teams already attached—in Inglewood, St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is well on his way to construction on a stadium and entertainment venue at the site of the Hollywood Park racetrack redevelopment, and in Carson, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have proposed a joint stadium.
Fikre says that "I think it's fair to say we have turned our attention to proceeding with an alternative development." For now they're not saying what that alternative development might be, assuming they even know (and probably not).
· AEG abandoning plans for NFL stadium downtown [LAT]
· Downtown NFL Stadium Developer Getting Hilariously Desperate [Curbed LA]
· Farmers Almanac [Curbed LA]