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Public meeting held for proposed NFL stadium in LA

Plans are moving forward to bring an NFL stadium and team to downtown Los Angeles.

March 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The first of several public meetings surrounding a new NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles got under way Monday morning.

Most who attended the meeting were those who have financial stakes in seeing the stadium built.

Entertainment company AEG wants to build an NFL stadium called Farmer's Field, tear down the West Hall of the Convention Center and rebuild it somewhere else and also add new parking centers.

Organizers call it a win-win for taxpayers.

"It will be private money, they will not touch the general fund and it will not be a taxpayer expense," said Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry.

"It will be an absolute economic boom for the city of Los Angeles," said Bob Vanech with railLA.

AEG said Staples Center has brought 93,000 full-time jobs to the region since it opened. They hope a football stadium would bring thousands more.

"It will account for more than $575 million in annual output and support over 11,000 annual jobs," said Ted Tanner of AEG.

Construction is expected to last four years and create 12,000 jobs, according to AEG.

"We're hoping the jobs are real. We want to hear more about that and we want to make sure they are for Angelenos. I don't want to see a Texas license plate in the parking lot doing the work," said Los Angeles First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner.

Beutner is co-chairing a blue ribbon panel on the stadium issue. Very few members of the public showed up to the group's public meeting to ask questions.

A big question some city leaders have, though, is regarding cost.

AEG's powerful coalition is asking for $350 million in city bonds to pay for the construction. Beutner said the city will be on the hook to make sure AEG pays that money back.

While several more public meetings are expected in the coming weeks, any plans for football in L.A. are on hold indefinitely until the NFL reaches a collective bargaining agreement with players.

At each public meeting, representatives from AEG will deliver a presentation on their plan and answer questions from the subcommittee and the public.

The meetings will be focused on specific issues, such as job creation, traffic, the impact on the convention center and tourism.

Scheduled meetings:

Committee on Environmental Impact and Traffic
Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2011, 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Building and Safety Commission Hearing Room, Room 900
201 N Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Committee on Convention and Tourism
Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2011, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Westfield Office
1801 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067