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After 10 Hour Hearing, Downtown NFL Stadium Moves Ahead to Final Approvals

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It only took ten and a half hours, but the City Planning Commission yesterday signed off on the Downtown NFL stadium plan, sending it along to the City Council for more or less final sign-off on September 28. If you're just tuning in now (and where have you been all this time?), LA Live developer AEG has proposed a plan to build Farmers Field stadium near Staples Center and to reconfigure the Convention Center, and has already, as the graphic above shows, cleared a number of hurdles (yeah, we're bucking the trend and going with a track and field metaphor on this one). Still, all kinds of new twists were revealed this week--the city's Ad Hoc Committee on the Downtown Stadium also met yesterday--so let's do a rundown:

-- A lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which supports the stadium, wants the city to help along talks between AEG and the Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition, which has filed a lawsuit to stop the state law that speeds up legal challenges to the project. Legal challenges pretty much have to be cleared up by March, when the NFL will start deciding on moving a team to LA. If the law is struck down, the lawsuits could stretch on for years. [LAT]

-- The LA Community Action Network, one of the groups involved in Play Fair, wants AEG to set up a $2 million a year housing trust for the life of the stadium (about 30 years)--they believe "rents could rise around the stadium, and that parking lots will replace affordable housing buildings around downtown." AEG doesn't seem to want to play ball on this one. [LADN]

-- The Planning Commission asked AEG to kick in extra money for planning efforts in neighboring Pico-Union and South LA, and "to increase funding for local parks, modernize a tunnel along Pico Boulevard, and hire a high-profile architect to design the two stadium garages that will be visible from the freeways." [LADN]

-- "Under the agreement, 30 percent of construction jobs and 50 percent of the permanent jobs will go to people who live within five miles of the proposed stadium." [KPCC]

-- "The stadium is expected to be busy throughout the week, hosting everything from rodeos to soccer matches." [LADN]

-- The ballroom that's helped drive costs up at the rebuilt Convention Center would be the largest in Los Angeles, with a capacity of 3,000-4,000 (it would take down the ballroom at AEG's JW Marriott. [KPCC]

-- Meanwhile, in DC, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appeared to show some support for the Downtown plan (as opposed to the competing suburban plan in Industry), saying on Politico's Playbook Lunch "(It's) a site that has an arena, it has a convention center, there are restaurants and shops. It's a whole experience where people can come down and make it a different kind of tailgating experience rather than pulling up your car and opening your hood and saying we're open for business." [LADN]

And here's AEG President Tim Leiweke making the urban planning argument for an NFL stadium in the urban center:

· Farmers Almanac [Curbed LA]

Farmers Field

W. Pico Blvd. & S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015 Visit Website