Goodbye Stadium; Hello Hotel in Downtown L.A

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Los Angeles, CA – The expansion of the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) will forge ahead without the grand plan to include an NFL football stadium in the neighborhood.

Just a few days after announcing plans for a new hotel serving the convention center, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) said it was dropping its high-profile vision of a cutting-edge stadium adjacent to the convention center.

“It has become evident a transaction that would be satisfactory to AEG, the city and the NFL is not achievable in any foreseeable time frame,” AEG Vice Chairman Ted Fikre said.

But there will still be plenty of construction taking place in and around the LACC, and it will be focused on the trade show industry rather than pro football. “The company shares the city’s vision to improve the convention center with additional hotel rooms and other resources nearby,” Fikre said. “AEG does not want to further delay pursuit of these objectives and will immediately commence discussions with the city in order to move forward with plans for this exciting project.”

The excitement revolves around an ambitious strategy to form a thriving convention district around the LACC and AEG’s LA Live complex by bringing in larger trade shows, their attendees and their expense accounts into the neighborhood.

Room for More

The 775-room tower announced March 5 will officially be an expansion of the JW in Marriott LA LIVE, which opened for business just five years ago a short distance from the LACC and hosted the International Association of Exhibitions & Events Expo Expo last December.  When connected to the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles, the expanded complex will include 1,756 rooms and 200,000 square feet of function space, AEG said.

Construction is projected to begin late this year or in early 2016. The $500 million project will be completed in 2018.

Ernest Wooden, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, said the addition would be a valuable asset to Los Angeles’ convention and trade show infrastructure. “Additional hotel inventory, especially around the convention center, is critically important to our ability to attract larger conventions,” he said.

Expansion to Move Forward

The LACC, which is managed by AEG, is also set for an expansion that includes a new exhibit hall of 350,000 gross square feet. The expansion will go through whether or not AEG goes through with plans to construct an adjacent football stadium. The center currently has 720,000 square feet of prime exhibit space and is ranked 18th on the Trade Show Executive World’s Top Convention Centers directory.

Reach Ted Fikre at (213) 763-7700 or tfickre@aegworldwide.com; Ernest Wooden at (213) 624-7300 or ewooden@latourism.org; Brad Gessner, senior vice president & general manager of the LACC, at (213) 765-4430 or bgessner@lacclink.com

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