Sacramento OK’s Special Treatment For LA Stadium

Breaking: The California state legislature has just approved a special legal process for Anschutz Entertainment Group’s proposed 72,000-capacity stadium at LA Live.

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Also, AEG issued the following:

The California State Senate today overwhelmingly approved by a vote of 32-7 legislation authored by State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) and sponsored by Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) that will help bring a stadium and convention center to downtown Los Angeles, creating more than 23,000 jobs — including 12,000 full-time jobs during the construction process and 11,000 more permanent jobs at the Convention Center — while including some of the strongest environmental and traffic mitigation efforts ever implemented in conjunction with building a stadium. The Senate’s action follows Wednesday’s approval by the State Assembly where the bill also received overwhelming bi-partisan support with a vote of 63-13. The bill, SB 292 now goes to the governor for his signature.

“After eight months of conversations, negotiations and compromise with elected officials, today we reach another milestone for the development of Farmers Field. From the beginning, we said there were four things we needed to achieve to prove that downtown Los Angeles is the right location for Farmers Field and return the NFL to Los Angeles. Today’s vote sends a very, very strong message to the NFL that Farmers Field will happen,” said Timothy J. Leiweke, President & CEO, AEG. “Beginning with the largest-ever naming rights agreement with Farmers Insurance, the completion of a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Los Angeles, and today’s legislation to protect this project from being negatively impacted by frivolous lawsuits, we can now focus our efforts on securing an NFL team for Los Angeles as we remain on-schedule to complete the most extensive Environmental Impact Report in the history of Downtown allowing us to ultimately break ground next June..”

“Many have questioned our location, many have questioned our process and many have questioned Los Angeles’ commitment on whether we could bring back the NFL to L.A. after 16 years. Not only are we ready for the NFL’s return, WE WILL BRING THE NFL BACK,” Leiweke continued. “Having received the support of more than eighty-percent of our State’s legislators, the endorsements from our nation’s leading environmental organizations and the support of business community, including the largest-ever naming rights deal, our continued momentum sends a very strong message to the owners and leadership of the NFL.”

“The dedication and thoroughness of Speaker Perez and the ad-hoc group of Assembly members he assembled, along with Senator Padilla and their respective staff members have created legislation that will set new environmental standards enabling California to continue to lead the nation with these groundbreaking environmental protections,” Leiweke continued. “It is also important to note that our leadership’s focus on the tens of thousands of jobs and tens of millions of economic benefits to the state remained their upmost priority throughout this process. We now look to Governor Brown to sign this bill and solidify the creation of the new jobs that so many Californians will rely on.”

“The prospect of bringing thousands of jobs into our state and creating over $600 million in economic activity in a community that is seeing staggering unemployment rates is both historic and unprecedented,” Speaker Pérez said. “This achieves economic development without sacrificing our environmental standards, and is exactly the responsible decision-making that California needs to move forward.”

“The building of a new sports arena and convention center is a game changer for the City of Los Angeles and the region. This project represents $1.2 billion in private investment in our city. It will create thousands of jobs and continue the revitalization of downtown Los Angeles,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “I commend the outstanding leadership of Assembly Speaker John Perez who worked diligently to craft and help shepherd this bill through the legislature,” Padilla added.

“Today, we took a significant step forward in the creation of 23,000 good middle class jobs for construction and hotel workers, stage hands and grips and janitors,” said Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “This is our economic stimulus package and it will be financed with zero public dollars. The LA Labor Movement worked hard to score major victories for all Angelenos.”

Senate Bill 292 includes no exemptions from environmental laws while allowing for expedited judicial reviews that will ensure all potential challenges to the project are heard in a timely basis (175 days) after an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is completed. The bill also prescribes that the carbon-neutral stadium prioritize transit more than any other NFL stadium in the country. The ground breaking environmental components of the project helped garner the support of two of California’s most respected environmental groups — the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV).

Funded entirely with a private sector investment of more than $1.3 billion dollars, the Los Angeles Convention Center modernization and expansion and Farmers Field project will generate over $600 million in total economic activity, raising more than $40 million in new city, county and state tax revenues.

“There is no better city to showcase the best in sustainable design than Los Angeles, and no better project than AEG’s proposed sustainable entertainment complex to do just that,” said S. Richard Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chairman US Green Building Council.

“Throughout this process, we have worked tirelessly to answer every question posed to us by our critics about our project, our timeline and AEG as a company. Let me assure you of three things: Los Angeles and L.A. LIVE is 100 percent the right place for the project. AEG is 100 percent committed to this project. And this will be an economic and environmental showpiece, not just for southern California but for our state and our nation,” concluded Leiweke.