Lawsuit Protection Sought by Proponents of L.A. Stadium
Tim Leiweke, Anschutz Entertainment Group president, asked a state Senate panel Friday to afford them with legal protection against what he calls “frivolous” lawsuits which he anticipates as they move ahead with the plan for the proposed construction of a $1.5 billion, 68,000 seat stadium and convention hall in Los Angeles’ downtown area.
He told the panel that in the absence of a legal protection, the project can potentially be tied up in courts for at least two years, which could also cause the National Football League team owners to abandon any plans of bringing football back to Los Angeles. Leiweke made this appeal in front of the Senate Select Committee on Sports and Entertainment.
The panel also heard testimonies regarding the economic benefits of the stadium, which included a jobs forecast. Most of the discussions, however, were centered on the request of AEG for a kind of legislation that would shield the developer against legal actions that have been tailored to delay the project until it dies. Legal challenges are expected to focus on the California Environmental Quality Act and the stadium’s compliance with the said law.
AEG believes that Majestic Realty Co, which also has plans to build in the City of Industry its own stadium project, and a developer based in Texas, will file the lawsuit. Leiweke accuses John Semcken, the point man for the Majestic project, of maligning AEG to Legislators while seeking their support against the proposed lawsuit protection measure.
Leiweke, in his testimony, said, “They’ve questioned our character, including me personally. Quite frankly, I think they did themselves a disservice, because almost everyone that came back to us was shocked at how they trashed us.”