The plan to build a $1.2-billion NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles took a big leap forward Tuesday when the City Council approved the overall framework for financing the project.
On a 12-0 vote, the council voted for a nonbinding agreement with stadium developer Anschutz Entertainment Group that allows for the demolition and relocation of a section of the Los Angeles Convention Center. That, in turn, would make room for a 72,000-seat stadium just south of Staples Center, which would open in 2016 with the planned name of Farmers Field.
“Today, in moving this forward, we don’t lose one bit of leverage. We don’t lose one bit of control,” said Council President Eric Garcetti. “The great suggestions that people make along the way, we can sit down and talk to folks about. But it is time to take the next brave step forward.”
Approval of the stadium plan would kick off nine months of intensive negotiations with AEG, which has promised to pay for the new stadium and two parking garages on its own dime. And it would allow city planners to press ahead with preparation of an environmental impact report on the project, which would assess such issues as traffic, noise and glare in nearby neighborhoods.
The city plans to issue $275 million in bonds to pay for the new Convention Center wing. Up to 49% of the new revenue generated by the two projects — taxes and lease revenue — would be used to pay off that debt.
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