NFL Owes The ‘Big 60’

The Los Angeles area is in a battle over a possible NFL stadium, and the city with the upper hand has about 800 residents, 84 of whom vote.

The city of Industry is just that – it has few residents and recruits factories and facilities by allowing them to run 24 hours and levies zero business taxes. Industry has few residents, and 60 of the city’s 84 registered voters approved a bond measure Jan. 20 that would provide $150 million for infrastructure improvements at a 600-acre site where a stadium has been proposed to lure an NFL team.

The vote was 60-1. City officials had yet to certify the plan at press time but considering the political climate, it should be a done deal.

But Industry is near Walnut and Diamond Bar, two cities that have decidedly more traditional demographics.
“They believe the stadium suits the charter of their city,” Walnut Mayor Joaquin Lim told the Los Angeles Times. “We, however, feel that the city of Walnut is a totally different setup.”

Lim envisions traffic, noise and “passionate, emotional” football fans in his part of town, the Times reported.

Walnut and Diamond Bar officials contend the Industry City Council was expected to vote Jan. 22 on a flawed environmental impact report.

“We are seeking either a renewed study or more detail and/or financial resources to properly deal with the traffic … not created by us,” Jim Di Stefano, Diamond Bar city manager, told the paper.

The bond measure supports a proposal by billionaire developer Ed Roski’s Majestic Real Estate Co. to build an $800 million stadium. Industry is hosting the latest in a long string of plans to bring an NFL team back to Los Angeles after the Rams and Raiders exited the nation’s second-biggest market following the 1994 season.

Industry Mayor David Perez and Majestic Real Estate VP John Semcken told the Times they expected a lawsuit seeking to block the project from moving forward if the city council approved the supplemental EIR.

“In the long run, they will lose,” Semcken said, “and have spent thousands of dollars. We will go forward and bring one team, possibly two, to Los Angeles.”

Douglas Johnson, a fellow at The Rose Institute at Claremont McKenna College, told the Times this is nothing new to the Industry area. In the same way recycling plants and other high-impact facilities have found their ways into the area, “certain people with power” will again step on the powerless to bring the stadium to Industry.