Project managers for Anschutz Entertainment Group's proposed $1.4 billion NFL stadium and convention hall in downtown Los Angeles told a council committee today that its conceptual 72,000-seat stadium design would handle conventions without any problems.
AEG Executive Vice President for Real Estate Ted Tanner and a senior designer with the Gensler architectural firm briefed the council's stadium and convention center oversight committee on design features of the proposed stadium.
Tanner described the design as still in a "very conceptual, schematic" state.
City officials have said they are open to AEG's plan and would support it with $195 million in city-backed bonds because the developer promised to modernize the Los Angeles Convention Center to lure lucrative events to downtown. The city's convention center currently ranks near 15th in available exhibition space.
The stadium "is really being designed as an event center, and as an adjunct and expansion opportunity for the L.A. Convention Center," Tanner told the committee. "So many of the spaces -- including the field level, the suites, the party suites, the clubs, the restaurants -- all of these facilities that are inside Farmers Field or the event center can handle additional uses for the convention center when it has a big citywide convention."
Tanner said the stadium would add about 280,000 square feet of space for conventions.
Robert Mallicoat, a 21-year member of the Los Angeles Convention Center Commission, called the use of the stadium as convention space "very imaginative.
Asked if conventions would make use of the stadium, he said, "We don't really know yet."
Gensler senior designer Jonathan Emmett said the stadium's roof design, which includes fixed canopies on two sides, would help to keep some noise inside the stadium.
"Many NFL stadiums don't even have those," Emmett said.
Gensler is proposing what it calls a "deployable" roof made of a translucent waterproof fabric, rather than a heavier retractable roof.
Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who has been one of the plan's most vocal skeptics, said he was incredibly pleased by the briefing.
"This could be the most exciting convention complex in America when they're done with it," Rosendahl said.
However, Rosendahl said he is worried the city is putting too much effort into moving AEG's plan along before the company has a commitment from an NFL team and is anxious to see plans to mitigate an influx of new traffic.
Rosendahl also reiterated his desire for the city to receive a share of the profit from signs and advertising around the stadium.