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Utter Contempt: Even Rosendahl Can’t Get Civil Answers to Questions About AEG’s NFL Stadium

“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)

Rosendahl apparently was satisfied, telling the Times — which just editorially endorsed the deal no questions asked – that he was delighted by the promise of transparency.

“I’m just
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?
8) 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
transfers

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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
project?

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
bonds?

 

Resources that might be helpful to
look into:

http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/302

http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/2011/05/miscalculations-encouraged-by-fuzzy.html

 

A whole book on the subject:

http://www.amazon.com/Field-Schemes-Stadium-Swindle-Private/dp/1567511384

 

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?
http://www.ocregister.com/news/angeles-114934-ocprint-relocation-fee.html
http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/1999/10/18/newscolumn11.html

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
to pay.

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
beyond that.

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.

http://www.sandiego.gov/chargersissues/pdf/tguarantee.pdf

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8 Responses to Utter Contempt: Even Rosendahl Can’t Get Civil Answers to Questions About AEG’s NFL Stadium

  1. Progressive says:

    With money, without tax revenue.. and on top of that in the mist of opportunity, once again NO ANSWERS. So without the terms UP FRONT.. trust is earned, not once TIM LEIWKE but everytime. That was cold blooded down in SD. The NFL, the family show that it is, community service and all, where R YOU. A football team has a home, a place where the people of the city rally around THEM, without us, .. NFL if you read this, Please loan the City of Los Angeles a good Attorney.

  2. Help red light red light cameras says:

    Ron,
    The AEG story is big, but first things first. There is a huge landmark taking place today in the privatization of public resources. The City Council has the chance to end the horribly mismanaged “rentier” regime of the red light camera program.
    It is a shame you aren’t focused on this more. It is an amazing example of a citizen activist (Jay Beeber) doing the hard work that the City Council, the LAPD and the Police Commission wouldn’t do which is analyze closely the details fed to them by ATS. When those details upon close examination were found wanting, the Police Commission voted 5-0 to end the extortion of LA’s citizens for ATS’s private benefit.
    Now the City Council wants to keep the beast alive.
    Today’s column would have been better spent making sure people get to City Hall to prevent another atrocity within City Council.

  3. Anonymous says:

    AEg Tim Lieweke wants a MOU by June 31st next week. Perry is pushing hard to help them get it. Everyone email your councilmember and tell them to VOTE AGAINST THIS CORRUPT DEAL. This is not for the good of This City or the People. Its for the greedy AEG

  4. Anonymous says:

    ooops!! The date Lieweke gave ultimantium to the City to give him a Memo of Understanding is
    JULY 31ST.

  5. Mad As Hell and I'm Not Going To Take It Anymore says:

    If they want a new stadium, then Anschutz and AEG should pay all the taxes and costs associated with it. I’m sick of these tax breaks for the rich when Angelenos pay 10.75% in sales tax and 8.25% in general taxes. THOSE ARE SOME OF THE HIGHEST TAX RATES IN THE COUNTRY!! I read every day in this very newspaper that California can’t close it’s deficits and people in the county are being furloughed because there is not enough money to pay for them and our schools can’t improve because there is no money to pay for it. ARE WE IN GREECE?
    If I’m handing my hard earned money to those jokers in the government to waste away only to find that we STILL have a large deficit, then they shouldn’t be giving discounts to these billionaires and making US float a bond to help them out. THIS SMELLS SO CORRUPT!
    FOR WHAT? For prestige of a team? I can’t even afford to get in to Laker games, what makes me think that I can get into an NFL game. And now my commute past downtown will be even more wrecked…I REFUSE TO PAY!!! DON’T TAKE MY MONEY!!! AEG, YOU PAY FOR IT and PAY FOR ALL OF IT!! GET OUT OF MY WALLET!!! I’VE GOT TO PAY FOR GAS AND GROCERIES AND TUITION!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    “ARE WE IN GREECE?” We’ll soon be in Somalia.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Shame on Rosendahl who thinks his job ended with asking questions to which there were no answers. He has far more educated and informed voters than the crap Jan Perry rules. We expect more from the Rosendhals of City Council. MIA is wannabe Mayor Garcetti. Does he think it is ok to railroad LA residents as long as AEG gets it’s way.

  8. James McCuen says:

    We had a hint that Rosendahl would pull his phoniness when we walked out of one Council session on Farmers Field instead of staying and voting no.
    Rosendahl is just like his colleagues and tried to grandstand without following through with criticism and a “NO” vote.

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