Reports started to flood in Tuesday night that billionaire Phil Anschutz was looking to offload AEG, his privately held entertainment and sports conglomerate. The LA Times asked industry experts, who said that the value of the AEG portfolio is around $5 billion. A Reuters article has bidding going up to $6 billion, and that doesn’t include Anchutz’s film studio, Walden Media.
The octopus that is AEG is divided into various overlapping divisions:
- Sports – 50% stake in LA Kings, minority share of LA Lakers, 50% of Houston Dynamo, 3 minor league hockey teams, interests in 3 European football and hockey clubs, a minority stake in Golden Boy Promotions, plus the Bay to Breakers, Tour of California, X Games, and other properties.
- Facilities – Staples Center, Home Depot Center are wholly owned by AEG. The company operates over 100 venues that put on 6,200 events per year, including games for all four major North American pro sports. The list includes major convention centers such as LACC.
- Live – The concert tour promotion division, with offices and venue control from coast to coast. It also oversees the Coachella and New Orleans Jazz festivals.
- China – A self-contained subsidiary of AEG, it operates like a miniature version of the big company, within China.
- Digital Media – Online production and broadcasting for big events
AEG works because it one division can leverage others to lock down deals. Staples Center hosts two teams that AEG owns, benefiting the company by virtue of publicity and revenue. The same model works for live music, where AEG controls booking for many venues and the tours that would fill them up. This sort of vertical integration makes it seem as if the best deal would for the whole shooting match to take advantage of that leverage. Yet there will be many bidders that will find individual pieces extremely attractive, such as the Kings or the venue management contracts. There’s also the issue of finding a single bidder or consortium (in all likelihood) that can put up $6 billion for everything. The bidding process will run well into 2013, and it will be fascinating to observe how all of it works. Some bidders might try to put up a lower overall bid because the transaction could be cleaner and easier to pull off. On the other hand, the total price of all the properties sold separately could eclipse the value of a single complete bid. Even if the whole company was purchased intact, if that bidder were a private equity firm it’s likely that there would be a strategy to part out the divisions in sooner rather than later.
Much of the immediate reaction to the news centered around the prospects of the Downtown LA football stadium. While many felt the stadium deal was in peril, Times columnist T.J. Simers fantasized that a new owner is just what’s needed to bring the Chargers north. LA mayor Antonio Villaraigarosa knew that the sale was coming and kept it quiet. His underlings expressed confidence that the deal would continue without Anschutz, whose purse strings and willingness to accept a minority share of a team were keys to attracting a team. Front man Tim Leiweke is still onboard for the moment, but someone else would have to represent the money needed to fund Farmers Field, which will cost well over $1 billion to construct. If AEG were parted out and sold piecemeal, the strength of the football stadium plan would be severely diminished since there’s no vertical integration to incentivize the effort (the stadium is also meant to be used as an extra large exhibit hall for LACC).
Teams currently in leases with AEG-operated venues are unlikely to see any significant changes. There is at least one other project that could be seriously impacted by an AEG sale: the Coliseum City development. When AEG signed on to manage the Coliseum complex, they also got a contract to provide pre-development services. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan started talking about a convention center and a retractable dome on the Complex, which would be home to an LA Live!-style village. The uncertainty surrounding AEG and Farmers Field creates a very ironic situation in that despite an anti-poaching agreement, AEG would’ve loved to have the Raiders as a tenant at Farmers, yet Oakland could use a successful LA Live! with Farmers as an anchor to help promote a similar plan to its citizens. Without that kind of success under AEG’s belt, the mega-development becomes a harder sell and may force a major change in scope. The alternative could be a normal, outdoor football stadium replacement for the Coliseum, without a neighboring convention center or hotel complex. The problem with that kind of downsizing is that a football stadium and whatever smaller scale ancillary development accompanies it may not be able to generate enough revenue to drive visitors to the complex, and that may be a loser politically. Meanwhile, consider the idea that the 49ers stadium could be completed before studies on Coliseum City are. That’s how deliberative the process is.
Then again, it may be best if Oakland and the East Bay focus on opportunities that are less pie-in-the-sky. Whether they’re talking about a total replacement of the Coliseum or a modernization of the existing Coliseum, it seems much more feasible than a $2 billion convention center and stadium that would have competition not only from other facilities throughout the Bay Area, but also AEG’s own LACC.
The Sacramento Kings could also be affected, since AEG was supposed to be the partner in the Railyard ESC arena plan until the last moment. One of the possible outcomes of a sale is a refocusing and wholesale freeze of development activities, which would hurt both Coliseum City and Sacramento. Other companies could step up, but there is a reason why AEG won bidding in both cities: AEG has a built up an impressive level of experience managing and developing venues over the years. If AEG shifts its focus as the result of a sale, so will many of its clients.
P.S. – One more log to add to the fire: The LA Daily News is reporting that officials that the Angels are talking with Ed Roski’s Majestic Realty about a ballpark at the City of Industry site Roski pitched for his own NFL stadium. Roski partnered with AEG to build Staples Center and buy half of the LA Kings. Surely these talks have gotten the City of Anaheim’s attention. Leverage – that’s how one successfully plays the stadium game.
The really big news (As far as Oakland is concerned), could be the San Diego Chargers, moving North to LA. We already know, that the Raiders do not want to partner up with the 49ers in Santa Clara. Does anyone think they want a Division competitor to share the same facility with in LA or anywhere else? As I mentioned yesterday, Quan is quite aware of what is going when it comes to the Stadium issues (As it relates to the Raiders & A’s), and that includes various scenarios (And that includes no AEG). If LA mayor Antonio Villaraigarosa knew about AEG, quite likely she knew as well (If only because of Coliseum City discussions (She had to know the possibility of it never getting off the ground, based on the talks with AEG)). If the Chargers are the ones to move, that takes away one more possible landing spot for the Raiders, and increases the probability that they are remaining in Oakland, and since most people agree, the Raiders are the main priority for the City, if they have only one choice, you know who is leaving the Oakland? Yep, the A’s.
As big as this story is, the bigger news is MLB’s new TV Contract with Fox & Turner (To go with ESPN). Not only, are the teams doubling their take from National TV (Making the big teams happy (Like the Yankees, Red Sox & Cubs) ,but the smaller ones like (Houston, Pittsburgh & Kansas City) as well. This will allow Selig to focus in on the final major two issues that are hurting MLB: The Stadium issues involving the A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays. I really think we are at the end game, and within 6 months, we will find out either directly (From Selig) or indirectly (News of the Raiders), what the fate of the A’s is.
So what do you think the fate will be?
re:, the Raiders are the main priority for the City, if they have only one choice, you know who is leaving the Oakland? Yep, the A’s
…Selig once said if a city doesn’t want Major League Baseball, MLB won’t press the issue. So if this is the case in Oakland, with the city choosing its Raiders and dismissing the A’s, will Selig still spend a few more years holding out for an Oakland solution that doesn’t seem to be on the horizon?
I still find it funny that the Angels are insisting they need a new stadium. Particularly when their current stadium is a hidden gem that is not only nicer than ours, but surpasses their neighboring contemporary in LA as well as some of the newer venues such as Turner Field.
The most interesting thing to me about the Industry/Angels story is that it would remove the NFL’s leverage in LA. The league bent over backwards to find a competitor to Roski, who offered really the first enthusiastic and workable plan to get them back in LA, so it’d be hilarious to see them lose the spot to baseball. Not to mention all the new uncertainty around the AEG site that had a lot of questions to begin with.
My personal opinion, is I think the A’s will be out of the Bay Area, how and where, I do not know. Basically, it goes back to two very bad business decisions. 1: Giving the San Jose Market to the Giants, with no time frame and with no compensation. 2: Allowing Mt. Davis to get built. These decisions were essentially the A’s being far too nice for their own good. I know there are going to be people here who will say being tough is comparable to being Romney, and it really is not. Think about Cal. They had to overcome all of the tree huggers, critics, and an extremely hostile City Government (This is Berkeley after all), and still got the renovation of Cal Stadium completed. Why? Because the head of the University stood up to these forces and got it done. I think it is fair to say that we would not be having the discussion of the A’s fate, if Hass would have said NO, to MLB about the Giants, and said let them go to Tampa, it is not our concern the Giants cannot make it in San Francisco. Guess what? That is essentially what the Giants are saying to MLB and the A’s. You can stay in Oakland (If the City and Raiders don’t force you out of course), leave California, or get consolidated, it is not our concern (In fact, they would love them to leave Oakland for reasons I mentioned yesterday). The same thing applied to the Coliseum. If the Raiders want to come crawling back, that is fine, but not at the price of ruining our Stadium by creating Mt. Davis. That message should have been sent.The terrible thing in all of this, is that some of the bottom feeders of sports: Florida Marlins, Brooklyn Nets, Northwestern, Tulane, Colorado State University, ASU, Minnesota Vikings, Baylor, and of course, Stanford and Cal (All of which have been less successful than the A’s on the field), all have (Or will have) their facilities either upgraded or brand new before the A’s get theirs, as will the crocodiles also known as the Giants & Raiders.
Anyway…back on topic, and sort of related to Dans post: I’ve never personally been to Angels Stadium, but based on TV impression (seems nice) and numerous trips to the Anaheim Resort/DLand, I can’t fathom why the Angels would even consider leaving that locale. I personally love that area between the 57 freeway and DLand down Katella. City of Industry…really? At worst I’d think the Angels would want a new stadium built in the adjacent parking lot of the current stadium. Its not as if the current locale is in a “depressed area.” Far from it!
David Brown, the A’ didn’t allow Mt. Davis to be built. They actually sued and we awarded damages. I don’t believe the A’s will leave the Bay Area. That is not to say that other markets won’t try, but there really isn’t another market that can support the team financially (considering incomes, media market size, etc.) and doesn’t open up a media market can of worms that is just as touchy as the TR’s.
You may be right about Mt. Davis, I did not realize that, but giving San Jose to the Giants and the ramifications of that still applies. The question about the A’s and where they end up, is still a problem for Wolff (And to a lesser extent to Selig), and if they are not in Oakland, or San Jose (Which I think is even more unlikely than Oakland). Is it San Antonio? Vegas? Montreal? Combined with the Rays in a new facility in Tampa? Broken up in pieces and sold off (Like Finley tried to do with Blue, Rudi & Fingers), this time as a dispersal draft? Or some other scenario? If the Raiders stay at the Coliseum Site, the question of where the A’s are playing in 2015 (If they are playing), still has to be asked.
What makes me confident that bs will figure out a solution to the SJ challenge which will keep the A’s in the Bay Area are 3 things: first he publically stated, and had larry baer pubically recognize, that the Bay Area is a 2 team market–this defeats the gints first notion that the bay area should be a single team market which they directly and indirectly have been advocating. Second, bs says he and his committe are working very hard to settle this….staying in Oakland doesn’t require any “settling” nor would someome spend 4 years studying something only to come back and say status quo is good–last—to leave Silicon Valley largely untapped would be a major faux pas from a business perspective—any wonder why the ‘9ers are building there right now–why LE has tried to buy every available NBA team to move them to SJ to take advantage of the market—no hard cold facts on what bs is thinking—just my opinion–
David Brown is a gnats supporter and is incorrect. One doesn’t need to be a legal genius to determine that the MLB ATE is on wobbly ground. (30 minutes of amateur internet investigating will discover that.) If the A’s take their case to court and challege the anti-trust exemption, they stand a good chance of winning. The giants owner’s group – despite all their threats – likely do not want the matter to reach a courtroom. MLB, likewise, obviously would desire to avoid a legal battle.. Even though Selig is very good at keeping a poker face, it appears that he has recently been leaning towards the A’s position about the SJ move.
However, even though some recent stories have suggested otherwise, MLB’s decision may not be coming soon. Wolff said (back in June ’12) that the A’s will be in San Jose in five years – so he must be anticipating further delays.
If MLB does delay or forces the A’s back to Oakland, I think LW should pull an old time Giants trick and sell the team to SJ investors! Talk about the havoc it would make as it it will be like 1992 all over again, with those investors being able to sue directly at the ATE a la Vince Naimoli. It would be nice parting shot to BS and MLB! Do it Lew!!! 😉
Once again, I hope David B. is wrong but I fear he will be right. MLB won’t let the A’s go to San Jose, Oakland wants the Raiders and there’s no place and no $$ for a ballpark in Oakland. Where does that leave us? With a variety of cities across the country looking to become the new home of the A’s. Selig’s “working very hard” comment the other day translates to “We’re doing what we have been doing for 3+ years – stalling, doing nothing, keeping our heads in the sand, etc.”
Pjk, what Selig and MLB does may be irrelevant. if the A’s challenge the MLB anti trust exemption and win – Selig will have no say in the matter. The A’s are doing very well financially and likely aren’t “desperate for a situation” as TK and the LA times sportswriter have suggested. The A’s have likely more than tripled in value since Wolff bought the team, and they are profitable because of the MLB revenue sharing agreement – they don’t mind the current situation.
The A’s are NOT doing very well financially. They are subsidized by the other teams precisely because they are not doing well financially. And what might the quagmire of a legal challenge to MLB’s anti-trust provision bring? More years of uncertainty…
David Brown is not right. That was easy …
Pjk The A’s ARE doing well financially because of the MLB revenue sharing agreement, the fact is that MLB IS subsidizing them and they are profitable because of it. The quagmire of a legal challenge to MLB”s anti-trust exemption is more giants propaganda. Selig awarded the Tampa Bay Rays owners group the Rays franchise 1.5 years after they challenged the ATE in court. You gnats fans are very insecure about this. (Don’t worry, once the A’s move to San Jose – they won’t prohibit south bay giants fans from attending giants games – you will be able to continue doing that.)
Take it from a Giants fan.
Even if the A’s move to Mexico City, San Jose will still want a team. The Giants know this. One business move is to leverage as much as possible for a great financial compensation package for Santa Clara County, but the best business move is to have the A’s stay in Oakland so that the Giants will always have Silicon Valley to tap into. The Giants want the A’s in Oakland, period. Because they know that this will never be a one team market.
Angels Stadium is a hidden gem? Really? I’ve been there. It’s a dump. Awful site lines with concourses not much better than the Coli. It doesn’t take much to have your view of the game blocked by people not even in your section.
@martin–assuming the SVLG stat’s are correct with only 15% of companies in the valley connected to the gints then there remains an incredible amount of market potential. Couple this with ML’s earlier observations that the radius of a typical fan to the ballpark is 30 miles than the odds of significantly increasing overall market share for the gints is not all that great. A one team market would afford them the media market where all the money is–a 2 team market, regardless of SJ or Oakland you share this–
If mlb wants to fully exploit the Silicon Valley market they need a team down here—where fans/corporations can have easy access to a ballpark.
Utah A’s! Utah A’s Utah A’s MT Zone A’s MT Zone A’s MT Zone A’s. Larry H. Miller’s sons can finally own the A’s and move straight to Utah!!!! MT Zone Utah A’s will happen!!
Hey Paul, how much does a local economy have to supply for a baseball team? What number media market is Salt Lake City? How big is the metro population? What’s the median income? The time zone doesn’t mean a thing…
SLC already has the Jazz. Many people there are part of the LDS and are mainly mormons. By having the #31 media market with another team, it can boost growth, TV ratings (Root Sports Utah) and also create a new rivalry with the Rockies and D-Backs. Utah deserves to have a MLB team in the form of the A’s.
@Paul – I’m going to warn you just once. Don’t drag SLC into every thread because you feel it deserves attention. It’s extremely off-topic and not germane to this discussion. If parties in Utah show interest in the A’s and it is reported by the SL Tribune, Deseret News or a national publication, we’ll cover it accordingly. Until then, it’s not up for discussion. You may be better served starting your own site which promotes MLB in SLC. If you persist on commenting the way you have, I’ll have no choice but to mark your comments as spam.
dmoas, not sure where you were sitting, but the sightlines seemed fine (definitely closer to the field than Dodger Stadium, the Coliseum and even Turner Field). As for the main concourse (above the 200 section of the first deck), it’s a tad narrow, but no more so than Pac Bell Park or the Coliseum. And unlike the Coliseum it’s actually got some open parts and has much better flow because of the first deck having two concourses (not to mention the second and third deck having their own dedicated concourses). Not to mention it’s not just plain drab concrete like we have in Oakland.
All in all it’s a very enviable park. Head and shoulders above our dump. And like I keep saying, nicer than many parks less than half its age like Turner Field where the seats are very far from the action, the concourses are cavernous and empty, the rusted out rebar is showing through the concrete in many places, and the bricks are literally crumbling off the outer facade. Is Angel Stadium as nice as Petco Park or Camden Yards, no. But it’s far from a dump.
Duffer, I am not a Giants fan (I even referred to them as crocodiles), I am actually a Yankees fan, so I can look at this subject from an objective point of view. I actually appreciate the A’s, they have the most unappreciated team in baseball history (3 straight Championships) so I want the best for them.
@David Brown – Not to thump my chest too much, but I wrote about the national TV deals in July. #thumpschest
David Brown – thanks for the clarification, the A’s are likely staying put, either SJ or Oakland though. If the A’s stay in Oakland, they could easily average 25,000 or more with a new ballpark. It would be very difficult for them to maintain that at Portland, Las Vegas, Sacramento, etc. Also their television broadcasting rights deals in the bay area are potentially much more lucrative than those small market (with 2.3 mil. or less) fanbases. The small market MLB cities tv rights deals typically range from $12-$30 mil. annually – much smaller than large market teams such as the Yanks $300 mil. deal with the YES network, the Rangers deal, and what the Dodgers and Angels receive.)
Dan, where’d you sit in Turner Field? I found it to be easily the best stadium in the NL East (though I haven’t been to CitiField as of yet). I take the approach of sitting in multiple places at each stadium I visit. At Turner, I sat right behind home plate, in the Delta Club, in the Budweiser joint out in RF, and in the second deck roughly even with first base. By far the worst vantage point there was the Delta Club. I really enjoyed the rest of the park.
I have only been to Anaheim for a tour, not during a game, so I can’t really compare the two. I didn’t see anything about the stadium that made it horrible, but it definitely wasn’t that great.
MarineLayer: We were both correct about the National Deals. In the comments section I talked about the Yankees & Red Sox as being more important than other teams in the eyes of the Networks.The fact ESPN is paying more for, and is allowed to have more of those games (Including showing those games in the home markets of the Yankees & Red Sox) is evidence of this. ESPN can now show a team 5 times a year (Instead of 11 times over 3 years).
Jeff, I too moved around. I sat in the upper half of the first deck just to the third base side of home plate. Then I moved up to the end of the third deck down the right field line in fair territory. Then we tried the bar out in center field, and lastly we went up to the kids play area on the second deck down the left field line and stood on the rail for an inning. Overall I found that the seats were pushed way far back from the field, particularly for a modern stadium. This could be a result of having taken in so many games at PETCO Park where the foul territory is sparse and the stands are practically looming over the field, but even the first deck at Turner felt farther away than it should have been. It felt, at least subjectively to me, farther away than Angel Stadium’s seats are at similar locations, though Andrew Clem’s site seems to back me up. That and Turner has a very “sparse” feel to it a bit like the Coliseum and the multipurpose stadiums. Too much bare concrete. That and Turner was either built on the cheap or hasn’t been maintained since 1996 because it’s literally falling apart in some very obviously places that I could see.
re David Brown saying the A’s made a “very bad business decision … giving the San Jose Market to the Giants, with no time frame and with no compensation”:
i think this is a common mischaracterization. they gave away SJ so the Giants could move there (of course they didn’t because the SJ voters were against their stadium plan). this was a smart decision, as it would have left the A’s to move in on the SF market, as they were then not only a superior team (on the field and in attendance) but they had the better stadium (pre-Mt. Davis) that was easily accessible form SF by public transportation (BART). I think they would have been plenty compensated (though not directly by the giants) if this move to SJ had happened then. What’s screwing the A’s now is MLB’s later reaffirming that right to SJ when the MacGowan group bought the franchise and built their own ball park.
re Anon “I think LW should pull an old time Giants trick and sell the team to SJ investors! Talk about the havoc it would make as it it will be like 1992 all over again, with those investors being able to sue directly at the ATE a la Vince Naimoli. ”
what happened was MLB nullified the sale to TB, forcing the Giant owners to take less money from SF investors. This may be a great result for pro-Oaklanders, but not the outcome LW would want!
@ Ely – I don’t think you are following my post here. The sale was nullified yes, which did lead to the McGowan group sale. However, it also led to a lawsuit by Naomoli, his investors, and the city/state attorneys to challenge the ATE in federal court. This scared the living sh!# out of MLB so they compensated them by granting them a new expansion franchise (the Tampa Bay Rays). See http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1346&dat=19921113&id=NJgsAAAAIBAJ&sjid=VfwDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6794,1708729 for more info. So Lew should take a cue from this if he is ever “coerced” to sell….sell it to SJ investors so that they can sue MLB and challenge their precious ATE! Also, your citation about letting the Gnats go to SJ was due to wanting SF. That’s BS! If they wanted BS, they could of readily refused to grant exploration of Santa Clara and force the the Gnats out of the Bay Area altogether. Lurie actually went to Haas asking for permission too, and Haas, the ever gracious philanthropist he is, willingly obliged without and stipulations (and unfortunately a sunset clause).
anon, i believe i am following yr posts:
1. what benefit is it to LW to have MLB sued after he sells the club? denying him the right to move to SJ is not coercing him to sell. mlb needs to approve any sale, so that selling to SJ interests after MLB denies SJ to Wolf just won’t happen, despite yr revenge fantasies.
2. if you want to believe in the myth of kindly old uncle wally, fine. both lurie & haas represented old-time SF families and considered themselves part of and benefactors of the community. i’m not saying that haas only has SF$ on his mind, but that it was one of many variable in the equation. lurie/haas didn’t envision the current SJ situation, so neither had no reason to ask for sunset clause.
i get what you’re saying, i just think you’re wrong.
@ ely – that’s nice that you think Im wrong, but your logic isn’t sound on the background behind wanting S.F. to themselves because they could of got the Bay Area. As for Why LW would do such a tact? Maybe because the only thing preventing him now from moving to San Jose is in fact MLB’s precious ATE. And if you actually read the article I cited, you would know that Naomoli was actually voted down by the Executive Committee for the transfer of ownership from Lurie, yet he still got a franchise in Tampa after threatening a lawsuit challenging the ATE. Food for thought while you continue to deliberate my “revenge fantasies”….
Dan, I’ve been behind home plate and along the third base line (lower deck). Those seats along the baseline were awful. Sure you’re much closer to the field, but that doesn’t matter if your seats are facing center field and allows for anyone in the many rows and many sections between you and home plate can block your view of the primary action just by standing up. Which happens very frequently.
OT, sorry. fyi: The S4SJ plaintiffs did in fact on Monday file their papers in opposition to the A’s LLC’s motion to compel. Would be interesting to see the text. The A’s LLC probably will file its reply brief tomorrow. The hearing, for now, is set for next Friday, superior court, downtown San Jose.
I think Paul is same person who likes to propose the SLC A’s scenarios on the A’s blog on MLB.com. That will never happen. The A’s will stay in the bay area one way or another, it just might mean we have another 5 years of so bickering back and forth on this site.
But think about the flipside, Mike2. We’d never have had a ghost ride the volvo video without all this drama.
OT, sorry: fyi, if someone thinks a frivolous lawsuit over a thorough EIR and legal land deal will be successful…well, I have an awesome bridge in San Francisco to sell yah.
Found this on the web today. Same old news coming from LW, he is not selling the team or moving the A’s out of the Bay Area.
(OT) I just hope the A’s can catch Texas over the next 13 games to avoid the wild card play in game.
Speaking with “great enthusiasm” about a San Jose ballpark; I like it ;). “That’s what friends are for!…”
Tony, don’t be afraid of education.
hey ml and jeff why you guys such cowards to let ppl post.. i hope san jose ballpark does not see the light of day… i actually will be right… its either Oakland or get outta state.
i went by the coliseum and the north parking lot would be great for a 30,000 ballpark.. i beileve oakland city leaders will pay for clean up and this whole mess will be done.