Environmental groups worried about another NFL stadium exemption


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.

Email: james.wagner@sgvn.com | Twitter: @jmswgnr @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

NFL stadium battle moves online with new website opposed to downtown concept


Two months ago, local billionaire Ed Roski Jr.’s grand plans of returning the NFL to the Los Angeles region encountered an interesting twist. A former business partner, Tim Leiweke, and Casey Wasserman announced they were exploring their own idea of building a $1 billion NFL stadium next to the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

As some predicted, Roski (pictured) wasn’t the only one gunning for an NFL team in L.A. And some of that jockeying for position has now moved online.

A new website and Twitter account in opposition of the downtown stadium concept were recently started. The site, nostadiumatstaples.com, is a collection of news stories and items relating to the Leiweke-Wasserman plan. It covers everything from questions about L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s tickets from Staples Center owners to the mayor’s hopes of luring Comic-Con to the L.A. Convention center (which could be torn down as part of the downtown stadium concept). Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG, which owns and operates the Staples Center, is a political ally of Villaraigosa.

It’s unclear who runs the website or Twitter account. The website was created on May 30, according to a website registry. And the tweeting didn’t start until June 1. Here’s who is behind it, according to a vague description on their website:

We are a group of concerned citizens of the Los Angeles area bringing you current news information regarding the possible development of a 80,000 seat stadium at the Staples Center.

A Twitter message to the group wasn’t immediately returned. And a call to a Roski representative wasn’t either.

Roski, CEO and Chairman of Majestic Realty Co., has said he won’t build his shovel-ready 600-acre, 75,000-seat stadium in Industry until he lands a team.

Note: For more coverage on the prospect of the NFL in L.A., check here.

Email: james.wagner@sgvn.com | Twitter: @jmswgnr @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

U.S. Labor Secretary Solis mum on Industry NFL stadium

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis was in town Tuesday morning, visiting the Los Angeles Electrical Training Institute, a union center in Commerce that teaches electrical skills, and talking green jobs.
So we asked Solis – the former U.S. representative for El Monte, West Covina and Baldwin Park – what she thought of the plan to build a $800-million, 75,000-seat “green” NFL stadium in Industry.
Solis punted the question, saying she was “not really aware of it.”
When asked if she had any thoughts, she replied: “Not really because I’m here mostly to talk about what our investments are.”
Solis was referring to the federal grants and contributions made to California to promote green jobs.
Maybe Solis was caught off guard by the question but the NFL stadium issue has been a hot topic for the region and state, given Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approval of the stadium plan.
Labor unions heavily backed the stadium plan as billionaire developer Ed Roski and his Majestic Realty Co. touted the project as a way to create 18,000 jobs and create $760 million in yearly economic output.