Venue News: L.A. Inches Closer to NFL Goal, Islanders’ Fate Decided Monday

Los Angeles has reached a tentative agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group, moving one step closer to luring an NFL team to the city. AEG announced it reached a memorandum of understanding with the city that allows the Farmers Field project to progress to the next stage. The 72,000-seat stadium would be located downtown, at the current site of the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. A key factor in the project, according to the MOU, is that the West Hall would be demolished and a new Hall constructed immediately adjacent to the South Hall. This would come at a cost of approximately $275 million in tax-exempt bonds. AEG would cover 73% of the costs and 27% would come from new tax revenues generated by the event center. Los Angeles’ two previous NFL franchises, the Rams and Raiders, departed southern California prior to the 1995 season; currently, L.A. is the only major-market city in the United States without an NFL team…

…On Monday, Nassau County residents will vote on a $400 million bond referendum to build a new Coliseum and a minor league ballpark. The plan calls for $350 million of the bond to be spent on a new Coliseum, with the remainder going to the construction of the ballpark. According to the lease the county signed with the Islanders, the team would lease the Coliseum from the county for 30 years, starting when the county’s current lease with MSG and the Islanders expires in 2015. During that time, the county would get 11.5% of all money earned by the Coliseum through a revenue-sharing plan. While the new Coliseum is expected to create over 3,000 permanent jobs, it will also create a new tax line on residents’ property tax bills. If the plan is not approved by voters, Wang is expected to relocate the team, and the Coliseum would likely close…

…The first phase of construction for the Baltimore Grand Prix is complete, and the second phase is underway for the Labor Day weekend event.  In order to transform Baltimore’s Inner Harbor into a two-mile racetrack, city streets were first resurfaced and repaired. This new phase, which includes adding 9,300-pound concrete barriers to protect fans from cars, safety fences, and grandstand seating for some of the 100,000 expected, will cost around $2.5 million. According to the event’s director of operations, construction will take 40 days to complete. Race organizers are contractually obligated to remove about 2,200 barriers, fences, and 16 grandstands within 30 days after the end of the event. The three main grandstands will be built at the Inner Harbor, the Baltimore Convention Center, and Camden Yards…

…The 49ers appear eligible to score a larger loan from the NFL than previously thought to build a $1 billion stadium in Santa Clara, and according to owner Jed York, the team won’t need to partner with the Raiders to do so. The lockout-ending deal reached between the NFL owners and players Monday includes about $150 million a year for teams building or renovating stadiums over the next decade. In light of California’s high cost and political obstacles, the league is giving teams in the state a larger “credit” tied to the money the team itself invests. The 49ers would be eligible for more than $100 million, and potentially more. The 49ers still need to secure three-fourths of the funding needed to build the $987 million project. The team says it has already sold $138 million in luxury boxes and expects $113 million in public funding. Teams would need to pay back their stadium loans, with interest, within 15 years.

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