The developer of a proposed $1.1 billion football stadium in downtown Los Angeles said Tuesday that there is a limit to how long his group is prepared to wait to complete the project.
AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke told ESPNLosAngeles.com that his company could be ready to begin construction on Farmers Field by March 2013 if all goes well, but after that, the clock is ticking.
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"We have clauses in our agreement with Farmers that if we don't have a team playing in the stadium by a certain date, they are no longer obligated on that naming right deal," Leiweke said. "More importantly, with (AEG chairman) Mr. (Philip) Anschutz, when you tie up that kind of capital and resources that we're tying up, when you spend $27 million on the environment report and another $45 million in design drawings, what you're not going to do is chase this for the next two years. It distracts from our organization, and it distracts this city and everything we're doing here."
Another reason for the urgency: A bill passed last year by California's Legislature that expedites legal challenges to the stadium expires in January 2015.
"What I'm going to tell you is we won't be sitting here in February 2016 still chasing Farmers Field," Leiweke told ESPN.
Leiweke told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that Anschutz is willing to buy a full ownership stake in an NFL team to facilitate the process. The newspaper also reported that the environmental impact report on AEG's proposed downtown site is set to be released Thursday.