When I went to the Stadia Expo in the summer of 2012, I walked by the large Gensler booth. In it was this:
Now it belongs in the dustbin of great, failed stadium concepts. When AEG unveiled the concept in 2011 it seemed it was getting all its ducks in a row. It had a naming rights sponsor in Farmers Insurance, a cooperative government in terms of process if not money, an EIR completed, and legislation to help bypass CEQA litigation. AEG appeared to be in the pole position for a future NFL stadium in LA.
They were missing the most important component of a new stadium: a team to call that stadium home. Not for lack of trying. They had reached out to every possible relocation candidate. The problem was their terms. AEG wanted, at least at the outset, a large ownership stake and control of the franchise as well. Owners as well as the NFL balked at such demands, and let AEG hang out to dry while they formulated their own relocation plans independently. Frustrated by the lack of action on the LA front, AEG head Phil Anschutz allowed his company to pursue buyers in hopes of a multi-billion dollar cashout. He also let Farmers Field champion Tim Leiweke go, giving the project no real internal support in addition to its lack of external (NFL) support. The final blows came in a quick combo as Stan Kroenke partnered with Inglewood interests on their own domed NFL stadium, followed by the Chargers and Raiders partnering on an outdoor stadium plan in Carson. Today AEG announced that it was giving up on Farmers Field and moving on with its Plan B, an expansion of the LA Convention Center (which it operates) that includes no stadium component.
AEG went from stalking horse to legitimate contender to non-entity in the span of four years. That’s the stadium game for you.
The State of Missouri’s Department of Economic Development released a study claiming that a new stadium for the Rams would return upwards of $9.6 million per year to the state’s coffers. The study isn’t available on the MoDED website yet, so I haven’t been able to scrutinize it. I tend to be skeptical of such claims, but I’ll wait to comment until I see the study. The public contribution for the riverfront venue is $405 million of a total development cost of more than $1 billion.
The beat goes on.