Phil Anschutz: LA’s Ultimate Sports Lord. If You Can Find Him A Football Team.
1:12 pm, August 10th | by Hillary Reinsberg
Phil Anschutz already has a pretty tight hold on LA’s sports scene – he owns parts of the LA Lakers, the LA Kings, the Staples Center and the Home Depot Center. Now, he’s got the okay to take it a step further. He’s building a football stadium in the city. The only problem: he needs to find a team to play there.
LA’s city council voted to allow Anshutz to build a $1.4 billion stadium and convention center. Super. But before they get started, according to Bloomberg, the project will have to be approved by environmental agencies…and of course, Anschutz will need to find a team.
Ah, a football team. Shouldn’t be too hard to get a hold of one of those, right?
In fact, a statement from Anschutz’s company in June revealed that the mogul was ”prepared to acquire majority ownership in an NFL franchise in order to bring a team to Farmers Field.” Anschutz has apparently “spoken with officials from five NFL franchises: the Vikings, Chargers, Raiders, Rams and Jaguars.”
Somewhere out there, a bunch of Vikings, Chargers, Raiders, Rams and Jaguars fans just began freaking out.
Though finding a team could prove tough –- or at least pricy — it’s actually the last in a long string of things Anschutz has had to worry about, as far as this project goes. Anschutz was finally able to wrangle a deal only because he agreed to reduce the amount of debt that would be issued for the project. The city of LA already has $417 million of outstanding debt on existing convention center buildings, so that was kind of crucial.