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Should downtown L.A. have a football stadium? No way, and here's why


With Los Angeles thinking about building a football stadium downtown, David Feehan and Don Shea, both professionals with experience in downtown development, have argued in today's op-ed that it's a terrible idea, unless, of course, city officials want Los Angeles to lose even more money.

"If downtowns are the community's 'living room,' building a football stadium is a bit like buying a jumbo flat-screen TV. We may want one for entertaining family and friends, but is it worth the price when the roof is leaking?" they ask.

Here are some more questions they’d urge elected and appointed officials, business leaders and local residents to answer before making any decisions:

• Are downtown sports facilities still a good idea? If so, why?

• Downtown sports facilities take up large amounts of scarce land, sometimes as much as 100 acres in the case of football stadiums and associated parking. Aren't there better uses?

• Football stadiums host a very limited number of games, and in cold-weather cities are useless for a third of the year unless domed. Why should they be downtown?

• With cities increasingly strapped for funds, should public money subsidize downtown sports facilities?

• How effective an economic development strategy is a downtown sports facility?

• Will the public continue to support public financing — direct or indirect — for these facilities?

• Is there sufficient evidence that the purported economic benefits (jobs, tax revenue, spinoff effects) will materialize?

 As for public opinion, here’s what a few of our readers are saying:


No new stadium in Los Angeles! We already have too many. The NFL can play in either the Coliseum, the Rose Bowl, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, or Home Depot Center. And please don't talk about how people don't want to go to the Coliseum. The USC Trojans have debunked that myth with at or near capacity crowds for games. One more stadium or arena and we're going to be known as "Los Angeles, the city of stadiums and arenas." Enough is enough! -- Tonyyy at 12:58 AM December 10, 2010

No, but...

Why are baseball stadiums no longer built to accommodate football? A lot of the stadiums built in the 1960s, such as Shea Stadium and the Astrodome, had field level seats that were designed to be moved to reshape the field for football or baseball. It's ridiculous to have a separate football stadium for eight home games a year. -- singerfb at 9:02 PM December 9, 2010


I know of very few people who actually want an NFL team in LA.  I, for one, would prefer that we remain an NFL-free zone.  But if some super wealthy developer wants to not only pay all stadium costs without public subsidy or exemption from environmental review, but also provide substantial funds to the City to ease its budget crunch, then I could be convinced to support the project. -- alwaysconsider at 7:20 PM December 9, 2010

What do you think?


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Comments () | Archives (4)

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I say lets use taxpayer dollars to build a Billion Dollar stadium for some rich guy. After all, with his Bush Tax Cuts being continued, he can create jobs by hiring some peanut vendors and security guards.

Tom Brady

First off this won't be used just for Football. The new Downtown Stadium will be connected to the Convention Center (which needs to be updated anyways). The stadium will host NFL football, SuperBowl, soccer, NCAA Basketball, concerts, trade shows, and of course conventions.

The Expo line will be open by then (helping with some traffic).

How is the Home Depot Center gonna host an NFL football game? Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium? Not gonna happen. Those are baseball stadiums and football suffers just as when baseball is played in a football stadium. Look at the Oakland Stadium, both sets of fans complain because it isn't a good place.

This Stadium will create jobs (wow, we could use those right?). AEG has done a great job with the Staples Center and LA Live. This is a win for LA and downtown. Also, four more hotels are going to be built (more jobs) and since more people are booking rooms then in turn more jobs.

Build it and they will come...

Nathan Palafox

Absolutely we should build a football stadium. The area the the stadium will be built on is a parking lot for laker games. They are also tearing down the old convention hall. Prime example of downtown stadiums in California, Petco Park. The ballpark has pump alot of revenue and down there. This stadium is a win win for the NFL and for Los Angeles.

Monty Malaga

Baseball stadiums are much better for downtown locations. AEG should move the Dodgers downtown and build a football stadium at Chavez Ravine.



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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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