OSBLN Tours L.A. Live, Visits Anschutz Entertainment Group


Author: Ian Agrimis

Last week the Occidental Sports Business and Law Network (OSBLN) went on a tour of the L.A. Live facilities in downtown Los Angeles. The facility opened in late 2008 and is host to the L.A. Convention Center, the Staples Center, ESPN Los Angeles, the Nokia Theater and the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels. The entire facility is also home to global sporting facilities company Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and Herbalife, the Los Angeles Galaxy’s major sponsor in Major League Soccer (MLS).

The group attended a presentation by AEG’s Vice President of Communications Michael Roth on the new Farmer’s Field stadium that AEG hopes will house an NFL team by 2016. As to which team that would be, the AEG representative wouldn’t say for sure, but it could be a number of teams, namely the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams or Minnesota Vikings.

The next stage of the tour led to the Nokia Theater, which seats 2,300. The group got to stand on the stage and overlook the vastness of the Theatre.

The experience was rare for tours of this kind because usually groups are not allowed on stage. The tour then traveled through a tunnel connecting the Nokia Theater and the Staples Center under Pico Street to the main concourse in the Staples Center, home to the National Basketball Assocation’s (NBA) Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers as well as the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Los Angeles Kings.

Once in the Staples Center, the group was struck by the eerie emptiness. The arena was full of shadows, there was no announcer, there was no popcorn, and most importantly, there was no game.

The tour guide talked about the various advertising deals that AEG had signed for the Staples Center as well as the facility’s capability to be swapped from a court to an ice rink or be prepared for concerts and other events in a matter of hours. For example, the tour guide talked about the contract with Pepsi. Because of the Staples Center’s advertising deal with Pepsi, for many years the McDonalds, who famously partners with Coca-Cola, inside the Staples Center was one of only two McDonalds in the world that poured Pepsi, until the contract ran out.

OSBLN President Travis Brody (senior) enjoyed the tour and felt it was a great networking opportunity for his organization.

“We’re really fortunate to have had the opportunity to tour L.A. Live with the people from AEG. I’d like to thank Cassie Zebisch – Senior Communications Coordinator for AEG – for organizing the tour and Michael Roth – Vice President of Communications – for guiding the tour,” he said.

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