Convention Center Project Would Bring More Meetings to L.A., Study Finds

A new wing on the Los Angeles Convention Center would attract more than a dozen new citywide conventions and generate millions of dollars in new tax revenue every year for the City of Angels, finds new research by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment presenter that is in talks with the city to build the new wing.

According to the Los Angeles Times, AEG paid for two studies that were conducted by independent economists, the results of which were reported last month: The first study examines the economic impact of the convention center project, as well as a proposed $1 billion NFL stadium — known as Farmers Field — in downtown Los Angeles. The second study, on the other hand, analyzes the number of convention bookings that an expanded convention center would secure.

Together, the two reports conclude that the stadium and convention center project would generate $41 million annually in tax revenue while increasing the number of major convention bookings at the Los Angeles Convention Center from 24 in 2012 to 38 in 2016, which in turn would more than double convention hotel bookings to 551,000 room nights.

"The studies from these independent and well-respected economists confirm our belief that the convention center modernization and Farmers Field development will create tens of millions in tax revenues and a tremendous economist boost to the region," AEG spokesperson Michael Roth told the Los Angeles Times.

Plans currently call for the city to demolish and rebuild a portion of the convention center to make way for Farmers Field. According to economist Bruce Baltin, one of AEG's hired consultants, completing the stadium, building 2,400 new hotel rooms and upgrading the convention center to create more than 500,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space would pump an extra $175 million into the Los Angeles economy every year.

AEG currently manages the Staples Center and oversaw the development of L.A. LIVE, a 4 million-square-foot sports, residential and entertainment district that includes a 54-story, 1,001-room convention "headquarters" hotel. Although it provided summaries to the Los Angeles Times, it does not intend to make its studies public.