LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — As the prospects of Los Angeles attracting an NFL team grow increasingly slim, a City Council committee, along with Mayor Eric Garcetti Tuesday voiced support for a plan to revamp the Convention Center without a football stadium.
A 2012 deal the city inked with developer AEG, which planned to build a stadium next to the convention center in downtown Los Angeles, slated the venue for an upgrade.
The agreement, which is set to expire in October, hinges on the city attracting a National Football League franchise.
City officials were recently informed by the developer that talks with the league have yielded little progress, Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller told the council’s Econimic Development Committee.
“Not that football is dead,” but AEG executives realize that it is in the city’s “collective interest” to move on with its own plans to improve the facilities of the convention, Miller said.
Projects are currently underway to expand convention centers in Anaheim, San Diego, and San Francisco, legislative analyst John Wikham told committee members.
“We’re really at the point where our competitive business on the West Coast is putting pressure on Los Angeles to make some decisions,” Wikham said.
“Plan B”, meanwhile, calls for adding about 300,000 square feet of space to connect the South Hall to the West Hall, and the addition of at least 75,000 square feet of meeting room space, which would allow the venue to compete for larger events, which include medical conferences, Wikham said.
The outdoor appearance of the convention center would also reportedly receive a facelift.
The city staff’s recommendation to start inviting architectural firms to take part in a design competition was adopted by the committee.
Three finalist firms would be selected by August to submit designs for the convention venue, with each firm given $200,000 to develop and present their proposals.
Mayor Garcetti supports the shift to the back-up concept, issuing a statement on Tuesday that “it’s time to modernize our Convention Center so our city attracts the nation’s largest conventions and the economic benefits they provide.”
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