8:02 p.m. Meeting is wrapping up. The next meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at Van Nuys City Hall. The Maven is not so crazy as to live blog two nights in a row, but I’ll be here on Friday when the full city council takes up the issue.
Good night and thanks for following along!
7:52 p.m. Still here, as public comment continues. Everyone is in support of this project, and many are reading AEG’s talking points.
7:38 p.m. Skip Cooper, president of the Black Business Association, says that to love Los Angeles is to love AEG and what it has done for downtown.
7:35 p.m. Reps from the LA Area Chamber of Commerce and Central City Association are both speaking in favor of the MOU.
7:30 p.m. A rep for one of the trade unions tells the committee his members are at home tonight, watching their TVs and hoping the Farmers Field deal goes through. He probably meant they’re watching this hearing on Channel 35. Too bad it’s not being carried live.
7:26 p.m. Jan Perry hasn’t said how many public speaker cards there are. I fear it’s A. LOT.
7:24 p.m. Time for public comment.
7:23 p.m. Cardenas says he still has more questions but will save them for tomorrow night. So, something to look forward to.
7:17 p.m. OK, we’re back after a little hiccup with the Internet connection and WordPress. Here’s what happened in the last 13 minutes: Tony Cardenas took a moment to explain the AEG deal in terms that everyone can understand. The councilman told the audience it is just like if you wanted to renovate your house (aka the Convention Center) but you couldn’t afford it so your neighbor offered to pay for the renovation if you promised to take off one story from the house (this is the same as building a stadium) so that the neighbor (who is AEG?) could have a view.
Did that in any way clarify a deal that’s not that difficult to comprehend in the first place?
7:04 p.m. Cardenas tells the audience that L.A. can be business-friendly without giving away the house. Gerry Miller is on it, telling the councilman that he’s right and that the city council doesn’t get the credit it deserves. OK.
7:01 p.m. Tony Cardenas is up. He’s asking about … who knows? He just made a speech about balancing the public’s prerogatives with those of a private business.
7:00 p.m. Wow, we’re 90 minutes into this? Iii-y-iii.
6:58 p.m. Jan Perry tells the audience there are 20 people in the hallway who are trying to get into the room. Urges the crowd to squeeze together to make room on the benches. Good time to get to know your neighbor!
6:56 p.m. BR yells out that he has a question for “the convention center guy.” Tells the crowd he can say that because he used to be “the cable guy.”
6:55 p.m. There is so much investment from so many parties, AEG is incentivized to make it work, Miller says.
6:53 p.m. “What is the worst case scenario for the city treasury if this project fails?” BR asks.
6:51 p.m. Gerry Miller says the city won’t be responsible for cost overruns on the new Pico Hall.
6:48 p.m Another reporter back here in the press rooms suggested we take a shot every time BR says he doesn’t want the taxpayer to be left holding the bag. We’re not doing that but if we were … drink!
6:45 p.m. Bill Rosendahl is up. So far, BR has asked 38 questions in writing. Remember, he said he has another 15 tonight.
6:44 p.m. “This is a very thin deal for them,” Miller says, the “them” being AEG.
6:43 p.m. A major unknown is whether the NFL will charge a team a relocation fee for coming to Los Angeles. That fee could be as much as $500 million.
6:41 p.m. Reyes wants to know if the city could get more revenue out of the parking garages if the city built ‘em, instead of AEG. Gerry Miller’s response is basically, “Yeah, duh.” But! Then the city would take on all the risk so it’s not worth it, he says.
6:37 p.m. A total of 14,000 jobs would be created by the construction of the project, according to the consultants.
6:36 p.m. Regarding the Convention Center. The new space, Pico Hall, would have to be completed before the old West Hall is torn down, says Gerry Miller.
6:33 p.m. Jan Perry is now beginning the Q&A portion of this evening.
6:32 p.m. Per the MOU: “AEG shall … actively pursue an arrangement providing for such NFL team to play its NFL games at the Los Angeles Coliseum until the Event Center is completed.”
6:31 p.m. Parks want to see what advantage is to having team play in Coliseum while Farmers Field is being built. That’s actually in the MOU, Section A, subsection i. That’s right, I read this whole thing.
6:26 p.m. “This proposal has gone faster and farther than any that I’ve seen,” Parks says, in contrast to past efforts to bring pro ball back to the Coliseum (in the Great Eighth).
6:25 p.m. Bernard Parks is in the house, making a cameo at tonight’s meeting.
6:22 p.m. The average convention center in America has 1.2 million square feet. Taking out Chicago and Orlando, that goes down to about 900,000, according to the consultants.
6:19 p.m. These consultants are throwing around a lot of numbers. A lot. I suspect the real fun will begin once the council members start asking questions because I can’t imagine anyone is that terribly interested in AEG’s return on the stadium. (It’s less than 7 percent, by the way.)
6:15 p.m. Typically, more than 60 percent of football stadiums are financed by public funds, according to the consultant. The new Meadowlands complex is the exception — it was built with 100 percent private funds.
6:14 p.m. Representative from Conventions, Sports & Leisure International are now speaking about the economic impact of a pro football stadium.
6:13 p.m. Quick rundown of the timeline: May 2012 is expected date of EIR certification. Construction slated for summer 2012. Summer/fall 2013 would see opening of convention center, and Farmers Field would see pro football back in time for the 2016 season.
6:11 p.m. For Los Angeles to update the convention center on its own, it would cost $859 million. Well, not really. That figure includes costs, interests and lost revenue. Santana tells the committee that is a conservative estimate.
6:09 p.m. Santana is switching the focus now to the Convention Center. San Francisco, San Diego and Anaheim are the city’s main competition when it comes to attracting conventions to the city. All three of those cities are currently investing in their convention halls.
6:08 p.m. The next phases of the project would require a $28 million and then a $5 million letter of credit.
6:07 p.m. If construction stopped on the parking garages mid-project, the city would take over control of the new parking garages, according to Santana.
6:06 p.m. During that phase, the city would demand a $50 million letter of credit. Annual debt payments would be about $11 million.
6:04 p.m. The riskiest time of this deal would be between fiscal year 2012-13 and 2015-16. This would be the construction phase of the project.
6:01 p.m. The bonds would mature in the year 2046. Doesn’t have quite the same ring as in the year 2000.
5:59 p.m. The draft MOU calls for $195 million in bonds, with another $80 million in Mello-Roos funds that would be the responsibility of AEG.
5:58 p.m. So, initially, AEG wanted the city to float $350 million in bonds for the new Convention Center hall (which has to be torn down to make room for the stadium). Also, the company wanted the new incremental taxes to be used to pay off the bonds. That means, AEG wanted taxes that were an indirect result of the stadium to be used to pay down the debt.
5:56 p.m. CAO Miguel Santana is up to talk about financing.
5:53 p.m. “We do not believe it’s possible to get a portion of the naming rights,” Miller tells the committee in reference to a question Rosendahl asked months ago. It was reported that Farmers Insurance would pay AEG $700 million over 20 years for the right to name the new stadium. AEG’s Tim Leiweke has said that figure is not accurate, but declined to specify the correct amount.
5:50 p.m. Gerry Miller is reading through the negotiating principles the committee voted on at the beginning of this process. Not gonna lie, it’s pretty dull so far.
5:48 p.m. Readers, it might be helpful to have access to the documents that will be referenced in this presentation. Click here for the MOU and supporting documents.
5:47 p.m. We are clipping right along, folks. The city administrative officer, Miguel Santana, and chief legislative analyst, Gerry Miller, are up now to talk about the heavy lifting of the deal.
5:45 p.m. Tony Cardenas is profusely thanking Jan Perry for hosting another meeting tomorrow evening out at the Van Nuys City Hall. Thank you, Jan — kiss, kiss.
5:43 p.m. Bill Rosendahl tells the audience he has 15 questions to ask this evening. Fifteen.
5:42 p.m. There are at least six television cameras in the room, which means there are cables and wires running all along the back wall and side walls of the room. It’s not at all a safety hazard.
5:40 p.m. Let me set the scene for the readers. In addition to Perry, committee members Bill Rosendahl, Ed Reyes and Tony Cardenas are seated at the head table in the Public Works room here at City Hall. It’s standing room only, with AEG, business and labor reps present.
5:37 p.m. Committee chairwoman Jan Perry kicks off the meeting by thanking the city’s negotiating team.
5:35 p.m. Committee is already running five minutes behind. Good start!
This evening, the Ad Hoc Committee on Proposed Downtown Stadium and Convention Center Renovation will meet at City Hall to discuss the framework of a deal that could bring professional football back to Los Angeles. There are many questions surrounding the deal — what will it cost the city? Will it improve the city’s convention business? Where on earth will people tailgate?
(Post first published at 5:34 p.m.)