Timothy J. Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG, released a statement Monday announcing that Farmers Field, the new stadium project in downtown Los Angeles, has proceeded to the next stage of development.
There is growing momentum for the NFL to place a franchise in the nation's second-largest city and AEG hopes to break ground on the new stadium early next year.
"Following months of intensive negotiations with representatives from the City of Los Angeles, we are pleased to have finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City that will enable the Farmers Field and the Los Angeles Convention Center modernization project to move forward to the next stage," Leiweke said in the statement. "We are confident that following their review of the MOU, the Mayor, City Council and other officials will endorse this framework for a project that will boost the City's convention, hospitality and tourism sector, stimulate economic activity in the region and generate sorely needed jobs."
A key to getting the getting the stadium built is that Leiweke is planning to pay for the stadium without any public funds from taxpayers.
"The general principles of the proposed transaction remain consistent with the original vision we laid out earlier this year, namely that Farmers Field will be entirely privately funded and the construction of a new state-of-the-industry convention hall, slated to replace the existing West Hall, will be accomplished without cost to the taxpayers," Leiweke said. "… Among other things, not only do the proposed terms contained within the MOU provide for full repayment of the City bonds by new revenue sources, they expressly contemplate that the majority of new tax revenues generated by Farmers Field will accrue to the general fund, providing a much needed source of new revenue for our City in the coming years."
Reports indicate the stadium project would cost about $1 billion, but a long-term naming-rights deal with with Farmers Insurance Exchange would help cover much of the cost.