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AEG's Tim Leiweke says proposed NFL stadium plan will call for less money in bonds

At town hall meeting, he says $350 million will be cut to 'the high $200 millions,' as AEG would pay for and control two parking garages in original request. Councilman says new offer appears better.

June 27, 2011|By Sam Farmer
  • AEG executive Tim Leiweke at the news conference announcing the naming right for the proposed NFL stadium in downtown L.A.
AEG executive Tim Leiweke at the news conference announcing the naming… (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

Executive Tim Leiweke, spearheading a drive to build a downtown NFL stadium, said AEG this week will present a revised financing plan to the city, one that calls for less money in bonds and contractually obligated revenue to cover them.

Leiweke, speaking Monday night at a town hall meeting in Mar Vista, said the original request of $350 million in municipal bonds to relocate the West Hall of the Convention Center, where the proposed Farmers Field will sit, will be reduced to "the high $200 millions." The bonds would be reduced because AEG would pay for and control two parking garages. Further, he said AEG will lease the stadium land and secure advertising deals that, when combined, will equal the bond payments. The previous plan called for AEG to cover any payment shortfall on a year-by-year basis.

"The general fund will not be at risk," said Leiweke, who will present the latest plan Thursday to the city's ad hoc committee reviewing the offer.

Leiweke said AEG needs to know by July 31 — after which the City Council goes on summer break — if the city will agree to the framework of a deal. He said that deadline will keep the company on track to begin construction of a new West Hall on June 1, 2012, which will require two years. He said a stadium would be ready for the start of the 2016 season.

Among those at the town hall were City Councilmen Bill Rosendahl and Paul Koretz, as Leiweke and AEG executives answered questions from neighborhood representatives.

Koretz said that at first glimpse, the new offer appears better than the last.

"By having a good degree of healthy skepticism, this plan already is considerably better than the one that originally came to us," he said.

"We have to make sure that, in the absolute worst-case scenario, no matter what goes wrong — and unfortunately with the Dodgers, we've seen what can happen — that the city is still in good financial shape."

sam.farmer@latimes.com

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