LA Mayoral Candidates Differ On How AEG Sale Will Affect Proposed NFL Stadium
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — All but one of the four major candidates for Los Angeles’ new mayor said the sale of AEG will not affect plans to bring an NFL stadium to the city.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa indicated this week that the sale of the company, which owns the Staples Arena, L.A. Live, and the Los Angeles Kings, will have no impact on the construction of the $1.2 billion Farmers Field or the search for a professional football team.
“Our contract is iron clad. (The new owners) are gonna have to continue moving ahead,” he said.
Under terms of the unapproved deal, AEG would use revenue from the new stadium to cover the city’s debt payments for the project, which includes more than $300 million for rebuilding a new wing of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
If the revenue runs short, AEG has to make up the difference.
Mayoral candidate Kevin James and some others are concerned taxpayers could be stuck with the bill if the new owner defaults on that obligation.
“As mayor, I put that deal on hold. You’ve got to put the stadium deal on hold,” he said. “We don’t know …who the new owner’s going to be. We have a relationship with AEG. In many ways, AEG’s been a very good partner for the city. They claim they would guarantee the bonds.”
However, city controller Wendy Greuel, councilwoman Jan Perry, and councilman Eric Garcetti said if they’re elected in the 2013 mayoral race, they will make sure the new AEG owner honors the proposed stadium.
“I have every indication that AEG will make sure that whomever purchases it will live up to the expectations. I’m gonna make sure we pick up that phone and make sure they live up to the commitment to make sure the city is whole,” said Greuel.
“The new owner will have to step into the shoes of AEG. We’ve made these agreements. We made a commitment to the taxpayers that there will be no public money in this, only private money,” said Perry.
The city council is scheduled to take up the AEG deal for Farmers Field next week.
Although overwhelming approval is expected, some critics want the vote to be delayed until the city knows who will own the company.