Work on New NFL Stadium Could Start in Six Months
The project includes the stadium as well as a new convention hall, ballroom and plaza. (KTLA-TV)
After signing the agreement with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Wednesday, AEG CEO Tim Leiweke reminded Angelinos that the project is about private investment, with not a penny paid by taxpayers.
"We have taken the risk. We have spent $40 million. We've done the design drawings on the Convention Center so we're shovel-ready next year," Leiweke said.
A total of seven of the eight steps needed to make an NFL team in Los Angeles a reality are now complete.
"We're at the 50 yard line, and now everybody's protecting the quarterback -- and that's Tim," Councilwoman Jan Perry said. "The city's done everything that we're supposed to do, and now he's going for the touchdown."
The NFL's spring review is where they'll determine if L.A. scores a pro football team while competing for convention business, which is another piece of the plan.
"The excitement is overwhelming and what we hear from customers today is, you bring this, and they will come," said Mark Lieberman, of the L.A. Tourism and Convention Board.
L.A.'s convention space ranks about 15th in the nation, but the upgrades planned by AEG would put it near the top five.
The Guggenheim partners, the owners of the Dodgers, are considering buying AEG.
As for the rumor that L.A.'s richest man, Patrick Soon-Shiong, would join them, Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter says that's not the case.
Either way, everything is moving forward for bringing football back to Los Angeles.
"L.A. is closer to bringing not just one NFL team, Timmy, but maybe two," Villaraigosa said on Wednesday.
Construction work on the project could mean as many as 30,000 new jobs, according to officials.
It includes the $1.5 billion stadium that will seat 72,000 fans, as well as a new, $315 million convention hall, ballroom and plaza.