Today City of Industry's city council rubber-stamped approval of a plan to build a football stadium on vacant land near the nexus of the 60 and 57 Freeways. The vote followed Tuesday's victory of a $150 million bond measure, which was passed by 60 of Industry's 82 registered voters. The build-it-and-they-will-come philosophy behind the 75,000-seat stadium is simple: Authorize the bonds and get the NFL to commit to sending a franchise Industry's way. Add water and presto! By 2011 Industry will then become the Meadowlands of the San Gabriel Valley. People aren't exactly planning their next tailgate party around that scenario, however.
Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune
For one thing, other area cities have shared this ether-rag dream before, most notably when Irwindale tried to lure the Oakland Raiders to its tax base by offering to plunk a stadium on top of one of the town's gravel pits. For another, Industry's neighbors, Diamond Bar and Walnut, are already gearing up for a NIMBY Gotterdammerung to block what they fear will be autumns filled with traffic and noise. (Anyone who's recently transitioned onto the Gordian knot known as the 57 & 10 Freeway Interchange will have some sympathy for them.) The proposed development sprang from the brow of none other than real estate billionaire Ed Roski, who built Staples Center Arena with Philip Anschutz, and who owns part of the L.A. Lakers and L.A. Kings.
Tony Chavira at the urban-planning site FourStory has some salient observations about the battles looming ahead for Roski & Co. (“Co.” being Industry's city council), along with sane suggestions for both sides of the debate.