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L.A. football's anti-cheerleaders

March 15, 2013|By Paul Thornton
  • Former AEG Chief Executive Tim Leiweke, pictured above at a City Council committee meeting last September on the proposed Farmers Field in downtown L.A., parted ways with the company after it was taken off the market.
Former AEG Chief Executive Tim Leiweke, pictured above at a City Council… (Los Angeles Times )

Among The Times' letter writers, perhaps no other issue inspires more pessimism than the drama over the downtown L.A. stadium deal. That's saying something.

But given the cast of characters (the NFL, which has burned L.A. more than once; entertainment giant AEG, the mega-developer slated to build the downtown football stadium with support from the city; and City Hall, whose support of this project hasn't exactly won over the public), this isn't surprising. From the moment the deal was announced in 2011, the reader reaction sent to has been overwhelmingly negative.

And with the latest development in the story -- AEG's sale that never was -- the pessimism has continued. Arcadia resident Lewis Redding's letter captures the overall reader reaction:

AEG: A look back

"Current evidence that Los Angeles will support a professional football team is overwhelmingly non-existent. The more telling proof is that the once fabulous Rams left town and the Raiders, a pretty decent franchise at one time, also tried to make it work and the lack of interest was overwhelming.

"A stadium here is the pipe-dream of a few very wealthy people who stood to make a lot of money but, in the end, despite any guarantees to the contrary, Los Angeles taxpayers would have been left holding the bag for an empty major facility.

"Sorry, but this is good riddance."

Richard Newton Meyer of Los Angeles says L.A. is under AEG's spell:

"As a fourth-generation native Angeleno, it strikes me that AEG has what my great-grandmother used to call 'the Indian sign' on everyone, including The Times' editorial board (which supported the deal), the Los Angeles City Council, various labor unions and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

"It's this simple: AEG doesn't give a darn about Los Angeles or her citizens. As with every other carpetbagger that has been involved with the NFL in Southern California, AEG's theme song should be, 'Take the Money and Run.'"

Jay James of Pico Rivera welcomes the unsettling news:

"Thank you, shake up at AEG. May the clouds and shake up continue."


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