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Farmers Field environmental impact report released

April 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
On the steps of city hall, union workers stood alongside corporate executives, as supporters of a proposed football stadium celebrated yet another milestone.

"We are here today to continue the push to bring the NFL back to the city of Los Angeles, we are brining football back to L.A.," said Tim Leiweke.

Leiweke is the CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the corporation that wants to spend $1.4 billion to build a football stadium in downtown L.A.

"In terms of football, we are in the offensive zone, not the defensive zone," he said.

The company's 10,000 page environmental impact report took 18 months to complete at a cost of $27 million. The report was submitted to the city Thursday in hopes that construction on the 78,000 seat stadium can begin as early as next March.

The plan calls for the expansion of the northbound lanes of the 101 Freeway through downtown L.A., a notoriously congested stretch of road. The plan also calls for the expansion of light rail in downtown L.A., and assumes that thousands of Angelenos will use mass transit to get to the football stadium.

"This is the first major project that has established itself as carbon-neutral, and having 25 percent of our patrons coming into that stadium without getting in their car." said Leiweke.

Critics say that's not going to happen.

"You can't put your barbecue on the subway," said Kevin James, who opposes the new stadium. "And so while we would love to see more people taking public transportation to a football stadium, you can't change the football tailgating culture."

The city has 30 days to approve the report after which there will be a 45-day window for challenges. Farmers Field would be built at the current site of the Los Angeles Convention Center next to Staples Center.