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AEG hears concerns over downtown LA stadium

April 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The public is weighing in on the $1.4 billion NFL stadium proposed for downtown Los Angeles.

On Monday night, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) hosted a public workshop on the project. Some concerns were about traffic and whether the community's voice will be heard.

"If there is a stadium, we want to make sure the community is not left out of the picture," said Eric Ares of the Los Angeles Community Action Network. "It shouldn't come at the community's expense."

AEG wants to build a nearly 70,000 seat stadium called Farmers Field where the Los Angeles Convention Center is now and rebuild a bigger convention center.

AEG recently released a 10,000-page environmental impact report about the project that took 18 months and $27 million to compile. Community members said they want more than 45 days to review it.

"Ten-thousand pages in 45 days, that means 222 pages a day," Ares said. "To have to analyze that and provide input, we here are asking for an extension from 45 days to 90 days."

Martha Saucedo, vice-president of AEG community affairs, said the 45-day period is standard.

"We feel that because of the outreach that's being done during this entire process, there isn't a lack of opportunity for them to be able to give input," she said.

AEG says the stadium will not cost taxpayers and will be provide a job boom to the area. However, traffic remains a serious concern for many, as does housing.

Protesters point to how Staples Center transformed the area.

"Those residences that are just west of the 110 Freeway were here, not more than 10, 15 years ago, where L.A. Live was built and those got turned into parking lots and those units were lost forever," Ares said.

"Since Staples Center opened with the opening of L.A. Live, there hasn't been any evidence of gentrification in the surrounding communities," Saucedo said.

AEG hopes to have football kicking off in 2016 and say they must legally respond in writing to all public comment.

City planners say AEG is going above what is legally required.


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