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Billionaire says AEG owner of Los Angeles Kings and Staples Center no

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Billionaire says AEG, owner of Los Angeles Kings and Staples Center, no longer for sale by Greg Risling, The Associated Press Posted Mar 14, 2013 1:47 pm MDT LOS ANGELES, Calif. – AEG, the company that owns the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the Staples Center, is no longer for sale, its billionaire owner Philip Anschutz said Thursday.The announcement came amid efforts by the company to build a downtown stadium to lure an NFL team back to Los Angeles.Anschutz said in a statement that he had made it clear that he wouldn’t sell the AEG sports and entertainment company unless the right buyer came forward.“They wanted more than what people were willing to pay,” said Paul Swangard, managing director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at University of Oregon. “I just feel as though there’s still differences of opinion about how valuable AEG is.”It wasn’t clear how far along the company had been in the sale process or how the move might affect its plans to build the proposed 72,000-seat Farmer’s Field football stadium.Anschutz said he will resume a more active role in AEG. Tim Leiweke, who has served as president and CEO and been the face of the company for more than 15 years, is leaving, Anschutz said.The sale of the sports and entertainment company had been expected to fetch billions of dollars.The Los Angeles Times reported that interested buyers included Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, and Guggenheim Partners, which recently led a consortium that bought the Los Angeles Dodgers.Last week, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a television interview that Anschutz had to find a buyer for AEG first before moving forward with what he termed as “uphill climb” involving the stadium effort.Villaraigosa stressed, however, that he believes the NFL would return to Los Angeles. The city has been without an NFL team since the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders departed for Oakland in 1995.NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league will continue to monitor the developments with the stadium proposal and “remain interested in multiple sites in the Los Angeles area.”An email message left for AEG spokesman Michael Roth was not immediately returned.Swangard said Anschutz’s decision to retain AEG will likely help the process to build a new football stadium.“It creates certainty for the LA (football) project,” he said. “If they weren’t getting the price they wanted, and at the same time were getting pushback on their next big deal, this approach makes all the sense in the world.”AEG transformed the Los Angeles landscape with the opening of Staples Center in 1999. Its later addition of the LA Live entertainment complex helped revitalize the city’s long-neglected downtown.The company’s holdings also include the Los Angeles Galaxy, part-ownership of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, and major entertainment and real estate holdings in Los Angeles. read more

Softball rallies around firstyear coach

New coach, no problem. Despite being saddled with the difficult task of replacing a program legend, first-year Ohio State coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly is embracing her new role at the helm of the Buckeyes softball team. Prior to Schoenly’s arrival from Miami (Ohio), OSU had been under the direction of former coach Linda Kalafatis, who compiled 538 wins and six NCAA Tournament appearances in her 16 seasons leading the Buckeyes. Kalafatis was let go in May after OSU declined to renew her contract. “I have a ton of respect for (Kalafatis) and the coaching staffs she’s brought to the program through the years,” Schoenly said. “We constantly tell the girls she’s part of our tradition … She’s a great coaching legend for the Ohio State softball program and I’m proud to follow in her footsteps.” While replacing a program stalwart is difficult enough, trying to get 21 players, 17 of whom played under the previous regime, to buy into a new coach’s identity can be equally challenging. “Every group of girls is going to have its own mentality,” Schoenly said. “So you just want to embrace the personalities in the group that you have. I’m not trying to change them, you have to find the strength in each kid and let it come out.” With wins against three ranked opponents (No. 8 Georgia, No. 16 Louisville and No. 14 Arizona), Schoenly’s Buckeyes are off to a hot start at 9-6. “I think the team has responded great,” said senior third baseman Megan Coletta. “It was a fresh start for everyone and the (new) coaches made it really easy with how they were open to us and very friendly with us.” Coletta said there haven’t been any issues with the new staff so far and that everything is going smoothly in the early season. “All of our new coaches are really energetic and lively,” said freshman utility fielder Cammi Prantl. “The team’s feeding off their energy and creating our own energy. I think everyone likes the positive environment.” During the transitional period after Kalafatis’ departure and Schoenly’s arrival, the team’s four seniors led off-season workouts to keep the women on the same page and to welcome the incoming freshmen to a coachless environment. “It’s not like we’re just freshmen to them,” Prantl said. “We’ve been included in the group the whole time.” The summer workouts paid dividends for the team’s eventual bonding once Schoenly was named coach. “This summer when there wasn’t a coach at all, the seniors were really involved with keeping the freshmen active,” Schoenly said. “(The seniors) were like little assistant coaches before we arrived, just keeping the freshmen on track and wanting to be here.” With the Big Ten season looming after OSU’s spring break, Schoenly said the real test begins once her team starts conference play against Indiana on March 22. Each day the OSU softball team spends together, they get closer and more familiar with the ways of their new head coach. The team knows the growing pains they suffer now will help them better prepare for the grind of conference play. “The adjustment is having to get to know all 21 (players),” Schoenly said. “You have to find out which buttons to push for which kids, and that takes some time to learn … My goal is to find out which kids fit what roles and to put them in positions to have success.” OSU is next scheduled to take on Maryland on Saturday at 1 p.m. in College Park, Md. read more