A city ad-hoc committee that met mostly behind closed doors voted 4-0 this week to green light a deal to build a new, $1.5 billion NFL stadium (with some Convention Center redevelopment thrown in) downtown next to LA Live and Staples Center.
The owner of those venues, Anschutz Entertainment Group, would build the stadium where the city owned Convention Center West Hall now stands. Taxpayers would borrow about $275 million to help AEG rebuild the convention space, and taxes, rent and fees from the project would pay us back (and then some).
Sounds good but, in a letter to the L.A. City Council yesterday, a group called LA Neighbors United (founded by Cary Brazeman) listed some questions and concerns:
-Under this deal, projected income from the stadium is based on having one NFL team playing there. Because this is such a big market, it's quite possible that two could be based here. What would happen to the extra rental cash if AEG doubled up on teams? (In other words, where's our cut?).
-Though there will beaucoup bucks coming from all kinds of billboards and advertising "signage" on a site that is owned by the people. The deal assigns most of the revenue to AEG. Once again, where's our cut?
-The agreement will allow a side deal: AEG can now develop atop a parcel (the "Olympic West Parking Garage") previously off limits. But there's no revenue in it for the city. Once again (repeat after us), where's our cut?
-The county, Metro (MTA) and the Los Angeles Unified School District will all benefit from taxes generated from the project, yet none are allowing their land to be used, deferring taxes, taking out loans or giving away development rights like the city is. So they should pitch in somehow too. (As in, and you know this line by know, where's our cut?).