Will Farmers Field Bring Football Back To Los Angeles?
Los Angeles got one step closer to the dream of having a football team today. Entertainment company AEG has announced that it has signed Farmers Insurance to a 30-year naming-rights deal for a new 68,000-seat football stadium in downtown Los Angeles near the booming L.A. Live complex and the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Staples Center, an area that is quickly becoming the new heart of Los Angeles.
The billion-dollar stadium with a retractable roof will be called Farmers Field and Los Angeles citizens have been promised that this new complex won't cost them a thing. The 30-year-deal has been called one of the largest naming-rights contract ever, a reported $650 million dollar deal. Because there is no team in place, while Farmers gets plenty of signage, there's no other media involved in the deal. But the decision paves the way for the long-range dream of having the NFL back in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was on hand at the announcement expressing his excitement that football will be coming back to Los Angeles. Also in attendance was former Laker great Magic Johnson, who sold part of his stake in the Lakers to focus on bringing the NFL back to L.A., a city without a team since 1994. The question of course is which team. There has been talk of having the San Diego Chargers move to Los Angeles. Other teams which could become L.A.'s dream team include the Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Gallery: The Plans For Farmers Field
The location includes part of the current West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center but plans call for the construction of a new West Hall to be completed before demolition of current West Hall begins so convention bookings won't be interrupted. The amount of total convention space would increase, raising Los Angeles to #5 in U.S. convention centers compared to #15 now and helping it compete to get more major events. The stadium will also be able to host four teams simultaneously. The stadium could be completed as soon as 2015 and the goal of bringing the 50th Super Bowl to the area was discussed. The Farmers Field website has a waitlist for tickets in place even without a team. The bulk of the seats will be the Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs). A PSL ownership gives the holder the right to buy event tickets for a certain seat in a stadium and then sell or transfer the license later. These types of deals are often put in place to help pay for new stadiums.