Environmental groups are revealing the opponents’ apparent playbook.
Concerned that another group may be seeking relief from state environmental laws, the environmental lobby is circulating a letter this week urging legislators not to support an exemption for a potential stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
The Sierra Club California and Planning and Conservation League are among nearly 70 groups warning legislators that AEG shouldn’t be granted the environmental exemption it seeks, according to the letter (pictured). (
Tim Leiweke, CEO and president of AEG, which operates the Staples Center, announced in April, along with prominent sports agent Casey Wasserman, their hopes of building an NFL stadium in downtown L.A.
Tina Andolina, the legislative director for the Planning and Conservation League, said her group has been told and heard that AEG was seeking an exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act. She said the company was citing an exemption granted to local billionaire Ed Roski last year as precedent.
Last year, the state legislature approved an environmental exemption for Roski’s $800-million stadium in Industry. The bill, signed by the governor in October, nixed a lawsuit against the project, which had already completed an environmental impact report.
It’s unclear whether any legislator was willing to author the exemption bill. But Andolina said she believes it’s a real possibility.
“I take these threats very, very seriously,” she said. “We did not see the Industry bill, tops 42 hours, before it was passed.”
A message for an AEG spokesman wasn’t returned.
Note: For more coverage on the prospect of the NFL in L.A., check here.