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Public comment heard on proposed NFL stadium

March 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A plan for a downtown Los Angeles stadium is designed to bring NFL football back to L.A. But what does the public think of that proposal?

Angelenos had a chance to speak out at a meeting at the West Hall of the Convention Center Wednesday afternoon.

The Convention Center is the proposed site of a new football stadium. The plan calls for knocking down part of the Convention Center and building Farmers Field. The public got to hear some more information from the city and the developer Wednesday.

They piled into a crowded meeting room to learn more about a proposed 64,000-seat football stadium that would be built right next to Staples Center.

Expensive parking, the economic impact on the community, and potential jobs were hot topics at the meeting.

The four-hour public forum included informational displays and PowerPoint demonstrations, and an opportunity to the public to leave written comments.

"Today is really about getting input in terms of how this project impacts our neighbors here in Los Angeles," said Sean Dee, chief marketing officer for Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). AEG is the private developer that wants to build the stadium.

"It's a session to hear what people think about the project as it impacts them in their daily lives," said Dee.

Supporters say the stadium will bring thousands of jobs to L.A.

"We know that this building could be just an incredible rebirth in the continuing rebirth of downtown L.A.," said Shomari Davis a business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union (IBEW).

But critics say the $1-billion privately funded project will also cost taxpayers.

"As we understand, there's potentially $350 million that could come from the city that would be tax-funded dollars that would end up going towards this project," said Gabriel Strachota, an organizer with L.A.'s Bus Riders Union. "And we're here today in part to impose that."

This is just the first of what's sure to be many meetings about this proposed stadium. There's still many roadblocks, not least of which is the NFL players strike, now in its second week.