Overflow crowd via the City Maven, Magic Johnson at the meeting with the Daily News
On Friday, developer AEG's proposed plan to build an NFL stadium in Downtown and relocate one of the Convention Center's halls got its first hearing in front of the full LA City Council. The Council's expected to vote soon on a non-binding memorandum of understanding that lays out a financing agreement between AEG and the city, and while nobody seems to think that the city will actually turn the project down, we did get some new information out of Friday's meeting, along with a new insult, and a couple of celebrity guests. Here are the highlights:
Length: About three hours and fifteen minutes.
How many people showed up?: A lot. According to the City Maven blog (and many other reports), the chamber was packed and people were backed up into City Hall's rotunda. Supportive union members were well-represented, as were high school football players, according to the Daily News.
Celebrity guests: Magic Johnson, who told the LA Times he'd love to be part of the NFL ownership team, was also quoted in the LAT saying "This project brings hope to the city in a time that the city needs hope." Former Rams player Vince Ferragamo "says LA lost a piece of itself when the Rams left town," according to the City Maven's Twitter account.
Against the project: 50 people submitted cards to speaks, and City Council President Eric Garcetti told the crowd that only two were against the project. Traffic and those 41 Convention Center billboards were the big concerns. One Pico-Unionite said that LA Live has brought lots of limo drivers who park in her neighborhood and pick up prostitutes.
Getting there: The City Council's three "stadium skeptics"--Paul Koretz, Bill Rosendahl, and Paul Krekorian--"all said they were moving toward supporting the stadium financial plan," according to the LAT.
How about some profit-sharing?: Nope. Both an economic consultant and the city's Chief Legislative Analyst said that AEG's rate of return on the project will be way lower than what comparable projects usually generate, so AEG won't be able to share any proceeds with LA.
Coinages: AEG President Tim Leiweke may have come up with a "NIMBY" replacement--he said he's been fighting "cavemen," Citizens Against Virtually Everything.
A vote: The Council is expected to vote on the MOU on August 9.
A final agreement: Is expected in May along with a vote on the project's environmental impact report, according to the LAT.
· L.A. City Council Considers Farmers Field [City Maven]
· Stadium profit-sharing not feasible, L.A. council told [LAT]
· Overflow crowd for downtown NFL stadium debate [LADN]