The last time Los Angeles had a football team was in 1994, when both the Raiders and Rams called it their home. Since then, proposals for a team have come and gone. Of course, one of the key factors for alluring a professional football team is the venue. Recent proposals for the construction of a new stadium have included the locations of Downtown Los Angeles, Inglewood and Carson. At the time of writing this, the proposed stadium project, Farmers Field, would not be moving forward, thereby making the proposed projects in Inglewood and Carson the most promising options.
Dubbed as the “City Champions Revitalization Project,” Stan Kroenke’s proposed Inglewood complex includes an 80,000-seat stadium with 9,000 parking spaces. After purchasing the sixty acres last year, Kroenke envisions the project to be “the world’s most interactive and integrated football stadium, a futuristic, $1.86-billion, privately financed venue proposed for the Hollywood Park site in Inglewood.” What distinguishes this project from the rest is its place in a grand retail-entertainment redevelopment that would include an additional performance venue along with retail, office, hotel and residential space. Thus far, Kroenke’s proposed project seems very promising as it already has a committed team (the St. Louis Rams), it has managed to bypass a lengthy environmental review and possible legal challenges, and it was approved back in February 2015 by the Inglewood City Council with a 5-0 vote. If the proposed project continues as planned, it is anticipated that the stadium will be completed by 2018.
Design features of the proposed stadium include:
- A huge, snail-shaped clear roof that can be used “to create the world’s biggest billboard,” visible to the millions of travelers flying in and out of Los Angeles annually.
- Built to accommodate two teams, the stadium will have two home locker rooms, identical sets of office space, and two owners’ suites.
- Four-sided design allows the venue to be accessed by the public from 360 degrees.
- Built below ground level to comply with height restrictions imposed on buildings within LAX flight path.
Supporters of the project argue that this will generate more than 10,000 jobs and new tax revenue for the city. However, there is concern from union labor leaders who are worried that developers will not keep their promise of bringing “good jobs” to Inglewood, as the latter has so far refused to officially commit to hiring union workers to build and operate the stadium. In response, unions have been quietly gathering petition signatures in Inglewood that could lead to a local vote on the plan, potentially overriding the City Council’s vote and delaying the construction of the proposed project. Alternatively, this point of contention may be addressed through the creation of a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), which will serve as a tool that would contribute to the improvement of the sustainable economic development of Inglewood.
What types of public-private partnerships arrangements and/or agreements have proved beneficial to the sustainable economic development of your community? How has the public sector attracted private investment in your community? Share your stories and thoughts in the comments below.
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