SBD/Issue 57/Facilities & Venues

Coliseum Certifies EIR, Moves Forward In Quest For NFL Team

L.A. Coliseum EIR Report Approved

L.A. Coliseum officials yesterday "certified their environmental-impact report," according to Farmer & Perry of the L.A. TIMES. L.A. County Supervisor and Coliseum Commission President Don Knabe called the move an "'absolutely huge' step toward making their stadium NFL-ready," adding that the Coliseum "is now as much as two years ahead of the Rose Bowl and Carson sites in terms of planning." Knabe: "This puts us where we can be playing football by 2006, and I don't think anyone else can say that." Farmer & Perry note the NFL "was neutral in its response to the Coliseum's news." NFL Exec VP Joe Browne: "It's not unexpected. We continue to work with all three of the groups." Farmer & Perry add Coliseum officials, unlike Rose Bowl and Carson execs, are "not interested in receiving financial support from the NFL, at least not yet." Coliseum GM Pat Lynch: "(The NFL) would like us to work through them, I'm sure. But we're not obliged to. We can talk to whoever we want to. We are now clear to do a deal. It will take the other sites a very long time to catch up to where we are today" (L.A. TIMES, 12/4). Carson City Manager Jerry Groomes "downplayed the significance" of the Coliseum's move: "Great for them, but my understanding is that it's not a race to see who can finish their EIR first" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 12/4).

SAN DIEGO: Lynch indicated that he "has had no discussions with the Chargers," but he "would talk to the club if it called despite ... San Diego [DA] Casey Gwinn threatening legal action against anyone who discussed moving the Chargers." But Lynch's "first preference is to continue working with the NFL" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 12/4). In San Diego, Caitlin Rother reports the Chargers faxed San Diego city officials a letter yesterday "refusing to comply with the city's demand they move their lawsuit" from L.A. to San Diego. The Chargers indicated they "would be willing to move the lawsuit to Orange or [S.F.] counties, but not to San Diego." The city will file a motion tomorrow "seeking a change of venue to San Diego" (UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/4).

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