LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - AEG has dropped its proposal to build a National Football League stadium in downtown Los Angeles, the entertainment company said, after two groups this year put forward competing plans for a stadium in the city’s suburbs.
The statement came late on Monday from Anschutz Entertainment Group, which launched an effort to build a stadium in 2010, ahead of an April 17 deadline imposed by Los Angeles for the company to lure an NFL team to the city.
The project, which could have been called Farmers Field, would have cost $1.5 billion and AEG would have needed to place two NFL teams at the stadium, with a discounted ownership stake in one franchise for the project to work financially, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Los Angeles region, the second-largest U.S. sports market, has been without an NFL team since 1995, when the Los Angeles Rams left Anaheim for St. Louis and the Los Angeles Raiders returned to Oakland, in the San Francisco Bay area.
The AEG stadium would have been located in downtown Los Angeles next to the city’s convention center. Critics had expressed concern it could create a traffic quagmire in an already densely packed area, and in recent months competing proposals have attracted interest and the backing of NFL teams.
“We are no longer in discussion with the NFL or any NFL team,” Ted Fikre, vice chairman of AEG, said in a statement.
“We have been very interested in the downtown site and we have spent quite a bit of time with senior members of AEG,” NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubmain said in a statement. “We would always prefer to have an excellent site in the mix, but we recognize that it is not in our control.”
The San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders last month proposed a plan that would have the two teams share a $1.7 billion stadium in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson if they fail to solve problems with their current venue.
On Thursday, the group behind that stadium proposal plans to start collecting signatures in Carson for a ballot measure to have voters approve the stadium.
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s said in January he has teamed up with Stockbridge Capital Group, which owns the 238-acre (96-hectare) Hollywood Park site in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, to build a football stadium for his team.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Leslie Adler