SBD/July 28, 2011/Facilities

Downtown L.A. Stadium Gets Positive Reception During First Public Hearing

L.A. officials have said the $1.3B project would not cost taxpayers any money
The proposed $1.3B plan to build a football stadium in downtown L.A. and expand the Convention Center "got mostly positive reception at its first big public airing Wednesday night, as city officials repeated assertions that it would not cost taxpayers any money," according to Rick Orlov of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. City officials noted that the plan "would likely save the city money because Anschutz Entertainment Group is helping pay for the Convention Center renovation, work that would otherwise cost the city substantial funds." L.A. Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller said, "I cannot reasonably see a scenario where there is a risk to the city treasury." Under the plan, AEG "would pay for the stadium construction and guarantee some $285 million in bonds to relocate" the West Hall of the Convention Center. Some $80M of the bonds "would be issued under the Mello-Roos Act -- a state law in which taxes can be imposed on property owners in a specific district to help repay bond financing for improvements in that area -- in which AEG guarantees the full funding." Yesterday's meeting "was dominated by a review of the" memorandum of understanding, in addition to questions from council members. The majority of the speakers "were AEG supporters, with only one person voicing strong criticism of the plan" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 7/28). City Council member Bernard Parks at the meeting said that he "wanted negotiators to push for an NFL team to play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and not the Rose Bowl in the years leading up to the completion of the stadium." He said, "That's essential as part of the discussion" (L.A. TIMES, 7/28).
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