AEG Breaks Ground On $1 Billion Sports And Entertainment District

by laliveinsider on Thu., Sep 15 at 12:00 PM

Announces addition of new business partners, including: ESPN, Regal Entertainment Group, The Conga Room, GRAMMY MuseumSM and Hilton Hotels

September 15, 2005

AEG President and CEO Timothy J. Leiweke was joined by elected officials, business leaders, and new business partners for the official groundbreaking of l.a. live, a more than $1 billion, 4 million square-foot Downtown Los Angeles sports and entertainment district. Located adjacent to STAPLES Center, the l.a. live project, considered the largest development in Los Angeles' history, will be host to an exciting mix of venues and facilities.

\"On behalf of AEG and all of our partners, we are here today to break ground for the largest and most important development in the history of Downtown Los Angeles, l.a. live,\" said Timothy J. Leiweke, President & CEO, AEG. \"This project is real, this project is happening and this project is important. l.a. live will give Los Angeles the ability to attract the best and most important events for our city.\"

\"Most importantly, our company's investment of nearly $1 billion coupled with an additional $3.5 billion commitment from the other private investors in l.a. live and the surrounding downtown residential district has brought this city a fully privatized, fully financed and fully entitled development. A $4.2 billion development that does not require any public subsidy,\" Leiweke added.

At the groundbreaking, Leiweke announced several new, major l.a. live business partners:

  • ESPN will create a regional headquarters and sports entertainment venue in a unique 120,000 sq. ft. broadcast studio that will be the home for a number of live and taped programs. Included in this building will be the ESPN Zone - a multi-level restaurant, sports bar, and game area. An approximately 10,000 sq. ft. radio broadcast center is also planned for live radio in an adjacent building.
  • Regal Entertainment Group will develop a 90,000 sq. ft. cinema complex with 3,700 seats and featuring digital sound, stadium seating, and state-of-the-art projection systems. This flagship theater will serve as a new venue for movie premieres and special screenings.
  • The GRAMMY MuseumSM will be housed in a 28,000 sq. ft. space designed for a permanent display of music genres and the science of recorded music as well as new interactive presentations recognizing past and president GRAMMY? winning artists.
  • The Conga Room will bring to l.a. live the club's world-renowned Latin music and culture. Over the years, The Conga Room has showcased many top Latin entertainers, including Celia Cruz, the Buena Vista All Stars, Andy Garcia presenting Cachao, and Carlos Santana. The new facility at l.a. live will be two stories, featuring a 6,500 sq. ft. ground floor restaurant and radio broadcast facilities and a 9,200 sq. ft. live entertainment and nightclub space upstairs.
  • Gladstone's 4 Fish, Junior's Deli Boys, Il Moro, Katsuya, and New Zealand Natural will provide a variety of established dining opportunities for l.a. live visitors. Agreements with P.F. Chang's and French 75 are in the final stages of negotiations.
  • Hilton Hotels will operate the Los Angeles Convention Center Headquarters Hotel, a four-star facility with 1,100 guest rooms, approximately 160,000 sq. ft. of meeting, ballroom and amenity spaces, parking, retail, and other guest services. The signature beacon of the district at approximately 50 stories in height, the hotel's main lobby will open onto Olympic Boulevard and facing the Central Business District.

    Upper floors will house luxury suites to accommodate visiting sports teams, headline performers, and upscale guests. The hotel will also include up to 111 fully serviced luxury condominium units on the top floors offering 24-hour valet and concierge staff, food and room services, and other amenities. The 1.1 million sq. ft. hotel will be developed by Wolff-Apollo and designed by Gensler.

    The hotel is expected to significantly boost efforts to attract key conferences, exhibitions, conventions and corporate meetings to the convention center, strengthening the entire Los Angeles region's tourism and new business opportunities. City general funds will not be used to finance the hotel's development.

\"Sports and entertainment often converge in the diverse city of Los Angeles and establishing a major presence there is a very positive step in the long-term growth of our company,\" said George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks. \"Originating more programming and extending our brand with an ESPN Zone will create a stronger ESPN. Given the success of our past collaborations with AEG and the scope and promise of l.a. live, we are eager to expand our L.A.-based operations.\"

\"Regal Entertainment Group is excited to be part of such a major development that will certainly transform and energize downtown Los Angeles. The new Regal Cinemas l.a. live Stadium 15 will be a flagship theatre for our company that will benefit from being part of this new entertainment community. Regal looks forward to working with our studio partners to host world premieres and special events at this dynamic new location,\" said Mike Campbell, CEO, Regal Entertainment Group.

\"Diversity is the lifeblood of our vibrant city. The Conga Room is proud to partner with l.a.live to showcase its unique brand of Latin American culture and music,\" said Jimmy Smits, co-owner, The Conga Room.

\"Hilton is pleased that we have been selected to manage this new hotel, particularly since it is located in our corporate back yard. Hilton's reputation for excellence in managing convention center hotels throughout the country is unmatched and we look forward to working with AEG, Wolff-Apollo and the City of Los Angeles as this exciting project progresses,\" said Ernest Wooden, Jr., Senior Vice President - Hilton/Doubletree Operations West, Alaska, Hawaiian Islands, and Mexico, Hilton Hotels Corporation.

\"Great cities attract great conventions and visitors. This Hilton hotel and l.a. live will establish Downtown Los Angeles as a world class destination. Our team is absolutely committed to bringing this hotel to life and transforming Los Angeles into one of the most attractive destinations for conventions in the nation,\" said Lew Wolff, Chairman and CEO, Wolff Urban Management, which is co-developing the Los Angeles Convention Center Headquarters Hotel.

\"As one of the most recognizable brands in the entertainment business, the GRAMMY(R) Award is the premier symbol of musical excellence for consumers around the globe,\" said Neil Portnow, President, The Recording Academy. \"We are thrilled to extend our long-standing partnership with our friends at AEG and look forward to being a part of expanding L.A. as the entertainment capital of the world!\"

Other key components of the entertainment district include:

  • Nokia Theatre, a 7,000-seat live performance venue that in addition to being a stunning new concert facility will also become the permanent home of numerous awards shows and special events;
  • A 40,000 sq. ft. open-air plaza designed to accommodate broadcast events, large celebrations, outdoor concerts, and festivals. The plaza also will serve as the primary limo drop off and red carpet zone for major events;
  • An interactive museum that will include permanent displays as well as regularly updated interactive exhibits featuring nominees from the awards shows held at the surrounding facilities;
  • 5,300 new parking spaces will be added to supplement the existing parking supply servicing STAPLES Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center;
  • Numerous high-end fine dining, casual and ethnic restaurants as well as nightclubs, coffee shops, and bistros which will provide a rich mixture of high quality food and settings, providing visitors with a true \"Taste of L.A.;\"
  • Building space earmarked to host a major food brand. The four-level building will include restaurants, a unique marketplace, cooking classes with celebrity chefs, culinary retail, food channel broadcasting, thematic/educational attractions, research and development kitchens, corporate offices, and garden terraces; and
  • 4,000 residential apartments and loft condominiums within three blocks of the sports and entertainment district are under construction or in the planning stages.

\"We are grateful for the leadership of Jan Perry first and foremost, along with City Council President Alex Padilla, the entire City Council, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and so many more of our City's officials who have remained committed to making l.a. live a reality,\" said Leiweke.

\"Today Los Angeles is reaffirming its position as the entertainment capital of the world. l.a. live will bring a vibrant sports and entertainment district to Downtown Los Angeles with exciting new places for families to dine and watch a movie, concert or game. The entire City of Los Angeles will benefit from the thousands of jobs it will create and billions of dollars it will pump into our local economy,\" said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

\"The l.a. live sports and entertainment district is a boom for our local economy and the world-class facility will continue downtown's unprecedented revitalization efforts,\" said State Senator Gil Cedillo, who represents the area where the project will be developed.

\"l.a. live's restaurants, theaters, landscaped courtyard, and media headquarters are certain to continue our efforts to reinvigorate our city center and make it an even more attractive destination for tourists and local families alike. Additionally, the project brings a wealth of quality job opportunities and profound economic development to the South Park neighborhood, surrounding areas, and the city as a whole,\" said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who represents the 9th Council District where the project will be located.

\"There is no more defining influence on the future of Downtown L.A. than the l.a. live development by AEG,\" said Mark Liberman, president & CEO of L.A. INC. The Convention and Visitors Bureau. \"It presents L.A. with the promise of a wholly new and exciting visitor destination in the center of the second largest city in the country. Our industry is eager to work closely with AEG, its partners and the City to make the vision presented today a reality. There's no hiding the fact that what we've seen today can be a convention sales organization's dream come true.\"

The sports and entertainment district will be developed over an eight- to 10-year timeframe.

About Nokia

Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications. Backed by its experience, innovation, user-friendliness and secure solutions, the company has become the leading supplier of mobile phones and a leading supplier of mobile, fixed broadband and IP networks. By adding mobility to the Internet Nokia creates new opportunities for companies and further enriches the daily lives of people. Nokia is a broadly held company with listings on five major exchanges.

About AEG

AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Forum (as exclusive booking agent for sports and entertainment programming), HealthSouth Training Center, Nokia live at Grand Prairie and Kodak Theatre (as operator); sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), the Manchester Monarchs (AHL), Reading Royals (ECHL), Chicago Fire, DC United, Los Angeles Galaxy, Metrostars and San Jose Earthquakes (MLS), five hockey franchises operated in Europe and management of shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) owned by Philip Anschutz; AEG Marketing, a sponsorship, sales, naming rights and consulting company; AEG Merchandising, a multi-faceted merchandising company; AEG Creative, a full-service marketing and advertising agency and AEG LIVE, a collection of companies devoted to all aspects of live entertainment including: AEG TV (formerly Spring Communications) devoted to creation and marketing of live events for pay-per-view and other electronic media; Creative Battery, producers of live entertainment for a variety of media and venues; AEG Tours & Special Events and Golden Voice, live entertainment promotion and touring companies. AEG LIVE is currently producing Celine Dion A New Day.Presented By Chrysler, a spectacular theatrical production starring Dion and an international cast of 60 dancers, musicians and artists and directed by Franco Dragone currently being performed exclusively at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

In addition, AEG has recently developed and opened The Home Depot Center, a $150 million national training \"campus\" in Carson, California designated as an \"Official U.S. Olympic Training Site\" by the United States Olympic Committee that includes major facilities for soccer, tennis, track and field, cycling, volleyball, basketball and other sports. The company was recently selected to fully develop the 28-acre Millennium Dome and adjacent property located in the eastern part of London along the Thames River and will create new arenas within the Millennium Dome and on a 50-acre site in the heart of Berlin.

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