It seemed like only yesterday that community leaders were still debating about where a prospective new NFL stadium would go — Carson, Exposition Park (at a refurbished Coliseum) or the San Gabriel Valley's far-out city of Industry.
The governor just cast a big vote for the latter. Today he signed into law a bill that will exempt the project from certain environmental regulations and cut “unnecessary red tape to get shovels in the ground, people to work and an NFL team in Los Angeles,” according to a statement from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office.
While the 75,000-seat stadium and neighboring complex (including an orthopedic hospital, movie theater, performance space, retail and offices) near the intersection of the 57 and 60 freeways will forgo environmental red tape in the name of progress, the governor's office notes that the project plans have already passed an environmental impact review and that the stadium will be the first such facility to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified: It will have solar panels, recycled-water landscaping and economic use of steel and concrete.
“This is the best kind of action state government can create – action that cuts red tape, generates jobs, is environmentally friendly and brings a continued economic boost to California,” Schwarzenegger stated. “This legislation allows us to move forward with the construction of the nation's greenest football stadium and create thousands of jobs.”
The renewed momentum to create a home for an NFL team in L.A. has other cities' fans worried about stadium developer Ed Roski poaching their home teams. There's talk that the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders are targets.
Meanwhile, the talk in Industry is jobs. If Roski can get the cash in this tight credit market, Schwarzenegger says the project will create 18,000 jobs. And that, our friends, is a touchdown.