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Farmers Field Proposed Re-design is Too Expensive to Build: Fan’s Opinion
The Los Angeles Times sure seems to love the Farmers Field proposed NFL stadium project. On November 15, they ran a story about AEG's re-design proposed for the project, which would now include a "deployable" roof. The article, which reads to me almost like a press release prepared by AEG's Farmers Field publicity team, goes on and on about this amazing new design, with no mention of added costs.
The Farmers Field project has already ballooned in cost. Originally the cost was pegged at $725 million when AEG put out a request for proposals in November 2010. Then by February 2011, the budget was already at $1.35 billion, according to AEG's own CEO Tim Leiweke. And that's before the new deployable roof design was added, which must add more to the cost. Those numbers don't include the hundreds of millions of dollars I think it will cost to also buy into or purchase an NFL team.
Retractable or deployable roofs don't come cheap. The $1.1 billion MetLife Stadium, home to the NY Giants, eliminated their proposal for a retractable roof over costs. So if AEG already says the stadium would have cost $1.35 billion, how much would this new design add?
I think the costs would be staggering. BC Place, a stadium in Vancouver, Canada, added a roof to their large stadium for a cost of $485 million, as a comparative figure. And construction costs in Los Angeles are high, so the cost would probably be even more.
The costs for the project are too high because I just don't think there is space in downtown Los Angeles for a large-scale project like that. I live in the area and know it's expensive to build here. The labor costs are higher as are the earthquake and seismic requirements not found in other cities. While AEG has claimed it will pay whatever the costs are, as a taxpayer, I'm worried they will get into the project, then come to the city for money or other financial incentives.
The stadium will also cause huge traffic problems and adding new entrances and exits to the freeways will cost millions. These costs have not been included in the highly touted "Memorandum of Understanding", a document issued by the city of Los Angeles endorsing the project, but not in a legally binding way. The traffic mitigation costs were also left off the city's key economic analysis and as a taxpayer, again I'm worried those costs will fall on the city or the state, meaning me.
Although born and raised with Eagles fans in Philadelphia, Freddy Sherman has always been a citizen of Raider Nation at heart. Since his dad got him a signed George Blanda football as child, to meeting Lyle Alzado in the 1980s, he hasn't looked back. Follow him on twitter @thefredsherman
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