Long-time developer John Semcken says that the plan by AEG head Tim Leiweke to build a downtown football stadium adjacent to Staples Center was a "pipe dream in Los Angeles that is confusing people." Semcken, it should be noted, is leading the effort by L.A. billionaire Ed Roski to build an NFL stadium in the City of Industry - an effort that has gotten a bit lost amid the interest in Leiweke's plan. Semcken, it also should be noted, worked with Leiweke in the development of Staples. "Tim's a bad guy," Semcken told the OC Register. "He can't build the building."
Citing congestion problems on the 10 and 110 freeways, the reduction of convention space and construction costs and issues, Semcken said a stadium in downtown Los Angeles "doesn't benefit anybody in the greater Los Angeles area. "At the end of the day, I don't know why they're doing it. It can't be done," Semcken said of the AEG plans. "We can break ground tomorrow."
Having reached agreements with neighboring cities and met environmental impact requirements, Roski and Majestic have the green light to build an $800 million, 73,000-seat stadium on a 600-acre site near the 57 and 60 freeways that Semcken said would be within an hour drive for 15.5-million people.
Semcken said that Leiweke recently pressured the Roski group to rent a suite at the Home Depot Center, and Roski agreed "as a sign of good faith," Now, Semcken said, "he's competing with us. After we gave them everything we had ... I'm never going to figure it out."