“We will report at the conclusion of negotiations.”
Bill Rosendahl — the only city official who has any qualms about AEG’s brazen downtown NFL stadium proposal — sent three letters asking 38 questions to the top bureaucrats negotiating the specifics of what was a done deal nine months ago. He got one yes answer and 37 that contained various forms of the phrase that amounts to we’ll tell you later, five minutes before you vote to approve. (NFL-Answers.pdf)
happy that I got answers to the questions, be they answers or non-answer
answers,” he said.
That quote alone should get Rosendahl a place in the city’s hall of fame or at least a star on Hollywood Boulevard. His colleagues and nearly everyone in the L.A. power structure didn’t even need non-answer answers to get aboard the plan to further enrich Tim Leiweke and his owner Phil Anschutz at public expense.
To the city’s millions of powerless residents, the message is clear enough: Shut your mouth and pay up.
It’s the same message City Hall’s leadership sends daily to the people who pay the bills for a failed government.
It seems our only hope is one form of catastrophe or another, like bankruptcy or better the FBI investigation of City Hall will actually nail the crooks this time instead of a couple of fall guys.
Or perhaps Ed Roski will pull off a miracle and get his City of Industry stadium moving quickly. He’s picked up support from the Orange County business community and the Riverside County Board of Supervisors — not that the NFL cares much about anything to do with L.A. except the wealthy Westside.
In the meantime, Rosendahl isn’t the only one with unanswered questions.
Here’s some questions and comments about the stadium deal from a recent series of emails among community activists:
1) Who is the city contracting with? AEG? LLC?
2) What collateral is AEG giving to back up the bonds
3) Is the City a participant in the bonds
4) Who will operate the old convention hall?
5) If the city operates the old and AEG the new, will the City lose revenues
due to competition?
6) How much money is still owed on the old convention center bonds?
7) How will AEG/CITY pay off the old debt while paying off the new debt?
Who will pay for city services? ie: Police needed at game time. Traffic
control. Street services.
9) What incentives are the city giving to the new entity? ie: tax breaks, land
The $350 million bond is a phony issue to keep everyone
from looking at the deal — all the profits go to AEG, nothing for the city
unless you believe millions of people from all over the world want to come to
downtown L.A. to meet our homeless bums and be fleeced by our billionaire bums.
Will AEG get a three-year new business tax holiday, reduced
DWP rates, keep half of all tax revenue and other hidden subsidies?
What are the direct benefits does the city get from the
What infrastructure requirements are there that the city
will provide and will the full cost recovery policy apply to all city services?
Will AEG run the convention center and take the profits
from it too as well as keep all the digital billboard revenue?
Will AEG indemnify the city for all lawsuits stemming
from the project?
!. Who specifically is the
controlling entity that will operate and control the stadium, is it L.A. Event
Center LLC, and/or will it be a mix of private / public reps?
2. Who specifically runs L.A.
Event Center LLC, is there an advisory board, and/or is this similar to how
Staples Center is run?
3. Is there any guarantee on these
Resources that might be helpful to
A whole book on the subject:
Does AEG have exclusive development
rights from some of their previous deals? It is
important that AEG takes the risk.
Is there a conflict
between the Convention Center and the Stadium? One way to eliminate that
is for AEG to buy the Convention Center and operate it. And since the
Convention Center is worth less than the debt, will the city will have to
absorb the loss?
Will the team ownership ask the city to share in any NFL
franchise or relocation fees?
I would see it coming down like this, stadium is under construction, team is
identified and is willing to move, people are excited, then the NFL says they
will require $200-700 million as a transfer fee, and everyone looks to the city
There should be a guarantee on the bond by AEG.
Tax exemptions should be capped at some level.
I think there is a police substation/command center at LA Live, so a certain
level of city paid security is in place, but perhaps a standard level of
support for football games and other events should be set (perhaps based upon
what is provided for USC games)and then AEG would be responsible for levels
Beware of tricky
schemes to make the city look good. San Diego wished to go beyond a trend of
cities not charging rent for stadiums. So they made a deal with the Chargers to
pay rent and then built in a scheme where the city would buy tickets to fill
the stadium if the Chargers did not meet sales goals. At the time, everyone
thought the Chargers would always sell out, but this was not the case, and when
the Chargers raised their tickets and didn’t sell out, the city was forced to
buy million of dollars of tickets for seats that sat empty because the NFL
wouldn’t let them give them away. Ultimately the Chargers gave in to public
outcry and renegotiated the deal.