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Stadium Talk Returns to City Hall

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, August 03, 2011, at 07:47AM
Farmers Field Gensler / AEG

Rendering of AEG's proposed Farmers Field, the stadium and events center that would be built on the site of the Convention Center's West Hall.

City Council's three-and-a-half-hour Friday discussion of AEG's stadium proposal did not bring any immediate action, but a Wednesday night meeting of the council's ad-hoc committee studying the topic could result in a vote being taken place.

“We have had a very productive and lively discussion about the draft agreement and I feel confident that we will be able to vote on the matter at the next Ad Hoc Committee meeting,” said Councilwoman Jan Perry, the committee chair, in a release advertising the body's third session.

In preparation for the evening meeting, the Chief Legislative Analyst, City Administrative Officer and the Convention Center put together a joint response to questions raised during last week's meetings. In it, they defend the economic projections put together for the project and acknowledge that work still needs to be done on transportation plans and the attraction of more hotels.

The stadium's biggest selling point has been the revitalization of the Convention Center, which has long struggled to attract major out-of-town events. While a rebuilt West Hall would raise the facility to the top five in terms of floor space, it would still need thousands more hotel rooms to really prosper.

According to the report, there would need to be more than 7,000 hotel rooms within a half-mile of the Convention Center to provide the 5,000 peak room nights that the city's convention and visitors bureau says would be needed to book the largest events. Currently, there are only 1,700.

While one new hotel deal has already been announced, the report says that a citywide hotel incentive program may be needed to encourage the development of large headquarters hotels rather than just boutiques.

Traffic has been one of the biggest points of criticism for the deal, which would allow AEG to construct a 72,000 seat NFL stadium and events center on the current site of the Convention Center's West Hall. The report notes that Caltrans is currently doing work to smooth travel on the 110, and that expansion of the Pico / Chick Hearn rail station at Pico and Flower will be part of the project's environmental analysis, which kicked off back in March.

Wednesday night's ad-hoc committee meeting will take place at 5pm inside City Hall's Council chambers.

Joint Response by CLA, CAO and LACC (Download PDF)

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