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How Many Fans Would Take Transit to a Football Game?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, August 29, 2011, at 08:08AM
Farmers Field Gensler / AEG

Rendering of AEG's proposed Farmers Field project.

Is car-happy Los Angeles capable of envisioning a future where three-quarters of football fans arrive at Farmers Field via transit?

While the debate over potential CEQA protection may have been the bigger story from Friday's state senate session to discuss AEG's stadium plans, one of the more interesting subplots is the push to encourage transit use.

AEG's Global Sustainability Manager, Jennifer Regan, told the senators that AEG intends to make Farmers Field the country's most transit-attended stadium, surpassing Seattle's CenturyLink Field.

That wasn't quite far enough for the National Research Defense Council's David Pettit, who called for provisions to be put in the stadium's environmental plans that would target 75% transit ridership.

That would be a big change for a sport with a culture heavy on tailgating... or would it?

Tailgating and transit could actually go hand-in-hand for Farmers Field by allowing attendees to make use of sites farther away from the South Park stadium. Later this year, for instance, the opening of the Expo light rail line will make it just a short train ride to get Downtown from the tailgate-friendly confines of Exposition Park.

While it wouldn't be in place for the stadium's kickoff in 2016 or 2017, the opening of Metro's Regional Connector in 2019 would similarly make Chinatown's Los Angeles State Historic Park just a one-seat ride away. Completion of the L.A. Streetcar in 2015 would give access to the Civic Park, currently being renovated next to City Hall and the Music Center.

So is that 75 percent goal feasible? While Pettit and AEG both have ideas on how to promote the idea, that will end up being something the fans will just have to decide for themselves.

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