AEG billionaire Philip Anschutz is committed to the idea of an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles and is willing to buy an entire team -- as opposed to just a part of one -- in order to make the deal work, his top executive said Monday.
"Phil is now completely engaged in this process," said Tim Leiweke, AEG's president and chief executive. "And the only thing he won't do is get leveraged to the point of doing a stupid deal on a team. But if this is about finding a win-win for the NFL and Phil Anschutz, he is prepared to write that check now, subject to getting done with the [environmental impact report]."
That 13,000-page report is scheduled to be released Thursday, meaning the public-comments portion of the process could finish by July. That would trigger a 175-day window during which all EIR-related legal challenges would be resolved. That would put the proposed downtown site on equal footing with a fully entitled City of Industry proposal by March 2013, which, according to Leiweke, is the soonest the NFL would make a decision on a site.
Leiweke, who along with other AEG executives met with Times editors and writers Monday, had previously said Anschutz was willing to buy up to 50% of an NFL franchise.