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L.A. POLL YIELDS OPPOSITION TO DOWNTOWN ARENA
Published October 17, 1996
A poll of 1,000 "high-propensity" L.A. resident voters shows that "three-quarters oppose spending public money to build a hockey and basketball arena -- or a hotel and entertainment complex -- near the Convention Center downtown, and more than a third would prefer to see the new arena built in Inglewood rather than L.A.," according to Jodi Wilgoren in the L.A. TIMES. The poll, funded with $15,000 from three Inglewood-based institutions, was commissioned by Councilperson Nate Holden, who is viewed as "one of the most vigorous opponents" toward the downtown project. 83% surveyed said local residents should vote on whether the city should subsidize a new arena; "only" 31% would like to see an arena downtown; while 38% "favored" a competing site near Hollywood Park in Inglewood; and 31% did not know. L.A. Times Acting Poll Dir Susan Pinkus said the Holden survey didn't ask "the most basic question," of "Should a new arena be built at all?" Pinkus also "criticized" the methodology of the pollster, Claremont-McKenna College political science professor Fred Balitzer, saying that "using prepared lists of voters rather than random phone numbers skews the sample." Balitzer defended his method: "High-propensity voters are a window into the life of the electorate" (L.A. TIMES, 10/16).