Woohoo, it's the big day! Developer AEG has released its draft environmental impact report for the proposed Downtown NFL stadium and Convention Center overhaul. While the report is mandated by California environmental regulations, it's really a big deal because it's everybody's first chance to see all the nitty gritty details of the plan. AEG President Tim Leiweke, union reps, and a big old journalist scrum showed up at City Hall this morning to formally present the 10,000 page document. So how are the plans? Trafficky! Weekend events at the stadium are expected to generate about 19,560 car trips and impact 20 to 42 intersections depending on the weekend day, according to the LA Times, which got a head start on combing through the document. But don't worry about it, AEG is planning to make all kinds of transportation upgrades too. Most notably, they'll spend $2.4 million to add a northbound lane to the 101 Freeway between the four-level interchange and Alvarado Street. They'll also spend $10 million upgrading the Blue/Expo/Silver Line station near Pico.
The Daily News reports that AEG also plans to introduce a smartphone app that will link Metrolink tickets or pre-paid parking spots with game ticket purchases. They also want to widen sidewalks around the stadium, add 250 bike stalls, and widen the westbound 10 Freeway ramp at Los Angeles Street. According to the environmental report, AEG will also build two parking garages west of LA Live Way to replace the Bond Street Parking Lot, the Cherry Street Garage, and parking under the Convention Center's soon-to-be-demolished West Hall--all told, there will be 6,670 parking spaces in the finished project, replacing a current toal of 5,558.
AEG is actually required to keep car trips relatively low--a state bill passed last year just for the project guarantees that any lawsuits brought via the California Environmental Quality Act will be expedited as long as the stadium makes environmental concessions.
The project covers about 68 acres just west of Staples Center, by the 110. The two big components are a new Convention Center hall (the old West Hall will be demolished) that will span Pico Blvd. to join with the South Hall and the "event center," aka Farmers Field. As the DEIR says "The Event Center would primarily function as the home venue for one or possibly two National Football League (NFL) teams, as well as a venue to host a variety of other events, such as conventions, trade shows, exhibitions; concerts; international soccer matches; motor sports; ESPN X games; rodeos/boxing/World Wrestling Entertainment events; other football events; as well as private and miscellaneous events." The stadium would have 72,000 permanent seats, but be able to expand to 76,250 seats.
Public comment on the behemoth DEIR only lasts 45 days, until May 21, so get to reading, public! Coming soon: part two, the signage.
· http://cityplanning.lacity.org/eir/ConventionCntr/DEIR/index.html">Convention and Event Center Project [City Planning]
· Farmers Almanac Archives [Curbed LA]