Patriots paid for Villaraigosa tickets in Denver

mav-in-denver.jpgAfter my post last night about Mayor Villaraigosa attending Sunday's Broncos-Patriots game, City Hall reporters put the key questions to the mayor and his staff today: what was he doing in Denver and who paid? The story from Villaraigosa's side is that he was there from Saturday afternoon to Sunday night, in his capacity as head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, to meet with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on transportation and other issues. The Conference of Mayors paid for the flight, but he covered his hotel room, according to Villaraigosa's office.

As for his presence on the field, between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Villaraigosa says he has become a Patriots fan: "Since we lost our team, I’ve kind of gotten behind the Patriots. I love that team and I was excited about their victory. It was a good day." The Patriots gave him tickets that will be reported as a gift, Villaraigosa spokesman Peter Sanders said. AEG spokesman Michael Roth said the company was not aware of Villaraigosa meeting with the NFL in Denver. Daily News, City Maven

Thumbnail of photo by Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

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