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Farmers Field is coming to Los Angeles: Local reaction
NFL fans here in Los Angeles have gotten one step closer to a new NFL stadium right in downtown L.A.
Farmers Field, named for Farmers Insurance, and to be developed by AEG, the company that developed and owns the Staples Center and the new LA Live complex, cleared another hurdle in the government approval process.
On July 29, the City of Los Angeles issued an official memorandum of understanding, confirming their approval of the plans to develop and build the stadium. The issue also had a public hearing on July 30, mainly attended by supporters. The memo is not an official approval, that must come with a vote by the city council, but it's the first step and to me, certainly a good sign of positive progress to come.
I think it's a good thing for the city and a much needed part of the continued development of the downtown area, where I live. With the city in a budget crisis, I am concerned about the funding, but if the plan goes forward, it would be completely funded by private money and by future revenues, used to pay off bonds. The agreement calls for the stadium to be built with no public funds and at no cost to the taxpayers.
Ten years ago, downtown LA was a forgotten place and the only thing in that whole area was the Los Angeles Convention Center. As part of the revitalization of this unique area, AEG built the Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings and then LA Live, an entertainment district destination with nightclubs, restaurants, theaters and now hotels. The Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott both opened within the past year and the NFL stadium will complete the entertainment complex. NFL fans in Los Angeles like me have waited long enough for a team and now with this new stadium, we have the facilities to attract a team.
AEG, the company behind the project, has a great website that outlines the full plan, along with the suggested economic benefits and drawings and maps of the location. They also include news updates on the project development. I like that a key part of their pitch for the stadium is to bring an NFL team back to LA, although the stadium will be used for other functions.
I'm only disappointed that even in the best-case scenario, the new Farmers Field stadium will not be ready to host a team until the 2015 NFL season.
Although born and raised with Eagles fans in Philadelphia, F. Michael 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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