American football fans in Los Angeles learned on Monday that a National Football League team and stadium won’t be coming to their part of the Golden State anytime soon. Anschutz Entertainment Group, the American sporting and music entertainment presenter, announced it was abandoning plans for "Farmer Field," an NFL stadium in downtown L.A., after five years and more than $50 million spent in plans, publicity and negotiations with the league, the Los Angeles Times reported. AEG had been a major contender to bring a professional league team to the nation’s second-largest media market.
“I think it’s fair to say we have turned our attention to proceeding with an alternative development,” said AEG Vice Chairman Ted Fikre, who also said the company informed the city that it will not seek another extension of an April 17 deadline to secure a team. The initial extension was granted nearly six months ago. There has been interest from some NFL team owners, but not enough to create a groundswell of momentum for the entire effort.
Other stadium plans in nearby southern California towns have overshadowed AEG’s effort. Last month, the city council of Inglewood, California, approved an 80,000-seat stadium at the site of an old racetrack that is backed by the owner of the St. Louis Rams. Supporters of a stadium on former landfill in Carson, California, began collecting signatures this week for a ballot initiative to move ahead on the proposal. The project is backed by the San Diego Charger and Oakland Raiders teams.
L.A. officials had hoped that stadium revenue would help raised the $350 million needed to upgrade of the city’s convention center. In 2012, the city council unanimously agreed to a deal with AEG with that caveat. “If we had the stadium, AEG would have paid for it. Without the stadium, we, the city, have to pay for it,” said Robert Ovrom, executive director of the Convention and Tourism Development Department.