Billionaire Phil Anschutz refuses to budge on the financial terms that would return the NFL to L.A., Yahoo! Sports is reporting. Anschutz, who met with Commissioner Roger Goodell in December at the request of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, apparently wants to purchase a minority stake in a team - but only at a discounted rate. He also wants to essentially rent out the proposed stadium. From Yahoo's Jason Cole:
As a source explained: "It was friendly, but boiled down to the view that no NFL owner would accept the terms proposed. If [AEG] wanted to get that much control over an NFL franchise, their only option would be to buy a team. If they were willing to back off the control and buy a [limited partnership] stake for a reasonable price, then a shared interest in selling suites/clubs/sponsorships could be worked out."
The bottom line is that because of that, politicians in Los Angeles may be shifting focus from the stadium project to simply enlarging the Los Angeles Convention Center. The stadium was supposed to be built on part of where the center currently sits and would serve as convention space when not being used for the NFL."The end game for this plan was the convention center all along," a Los Angeles-based source said Thursday. "That's what AEG wants to improve because the convention business is going to drive the whole area."
Of course, all this may be a negotiating dance among the various parties. You might recall that overhauling the convention center had been the carrot that AEG was waving to city officials in return for their support of a stadium. AEG, by the way, is supposed to release its environmental impact report on the project next week.