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Denver Marketing Exec to Oversee L.A. Live

September 26, 2006|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

A Denver marketing specialist has been hired to operate the $2.5-billion L.A. Live sports and entertainment district being built across the street from Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, the owners said Monday.

Lisa Herzlich, 52, will be responsible for overall operations of the completed project, said AEG, owner of Staples and L.A. Live. Her duties will include booking all events as well as sponsor relations, tenant relations, parking and security.

As managing director starting in January, she will report to AEG President Timothy J. Leiweke and Ted Tanner, senior vice president in charge of real estate. Los Angeles-based AEG is a subsidiary of Anschutz Co., which is owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz.

"She is in charge of what I like to call the 'moment of truth,' " Leiweke said, referring to when the venue's expected 20 million annual visitors will arrive and experience events. "No single position will be more critical to the creation, overall operations and ultimate success of L.A. Live than this job."

Herzlich has been marketing director for 14 years for Cherry Creek Shopping Center, a 1.1-million-square-foot mall in Denver owned by Taubman Centers Inc. The Michigan-based company also owns the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, where Herzlich is interim marketing director.

"Most of what I have done is bring big events to town," she said.

L.A. Live is a 4-million-square-foot development under construction on 27 acres north of Staples and east of the Harbor Freeway at Figueroa Street and Olympic Boulevard.

The tourist-oriented sports-entertainment hub will open in phases beginning in October 2007. It is slated to have 2,000 apartments and condos, a 54-story hotel and condo tower, a 7,100-seat live performance theater, broadcast facilities, a 15-screen movie theater and nearly a dozen restaurants and clubs.

Herzlich has already provided her first idea: giving the three levels of underground parking color coding instead of numbers. They will be Clipper red, Laker gold and King purple, Leiweke said, for the pro basketball and hockey teams that call Staples home.

Her hiring presages the announcement of "quite a few major award shows" that will be moving to the facility, Leiweke said. "These deals are close to being inked."

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