AEG Wants a Green Stadium for Downtown L.A. – No New Parking Required

AEG says they're drawing inspiration from the Dallas Cowboys new stadium.  Apparently that inspiration doesn't include a giant parking lot.

AEG says they're drawing inspiration from the Dallas Cowboys new stadium. Apparently that inspiration doesn't include a giant parking lot.

The Sporting News provides one of the first real looks at what plans entertainment giant AEG has planned for their proposed NFL Football Stadium that would be located in Downtown Los Angeles.  There’s some good news for those concerned that the new Stadium would be accompanied with a gigantic sea of parking, as most NFL Stadiums do.  According to the Sporting News:

Parking won’t be a problem, Leiweke believes, because 32,000 spaces sit within a 15-minute walk of the proposed stadium site, which is now occupied by the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“This stadium will be LEED [certified] because of our light rail transportation, buses and Union Station down the street,” he said. “We have an environmentally friendly vision and that’s important to us.”

The 72,000-seat facility would have the flexibility to expand to 76,250 for mega-events such as the Super Bowl, NCAA football games, FIFA World Cup finals and NCAA Final Four.

This is sort of a good news/bad news announcement for the city.  The good news is that if the stadium really won’t increase parking in the area, that alleviates one of the concerns we expressed last week.  The bad news is that either their estimates are wildly off-base or the city has too many parking spots in Downtown Los Angeles.

There is also a proposal to build a new stadium at Candlestick Point in the Bay Area.  The environmental review for that stadium estimates a 74% mode share for the travelers going to the new stadium in the car.  If that number holds true for Los Angeles, and there are many variables that could make it different, that means that 18,500 fans would be riding via bike, foot, transit vehicle or charter bus.  While it’s too early in the process to expect AEG to have a plan to get those people to the stadium, it’s imperative that such a plan is made public before the stadium is approved.

The article raises another red flag.  AEG has set a targeted opening date of August of 2015.  That in the next four years and nine months, AEG needs to find a stadium designer, complete all of the environmental review, find a construction company, get approval for the city (needed because their plan involves taking part of the current convention center) and build the stadium.  All of that assumes that there is an NFL team interested in moving here.

With the clock already ticking at just under five years, there must be some pressure to try and get an exemption from state environmental laws, as rival developer Ed Roski did for his dream stadium in the City of Industry.  For the people of Los Angeles to have any faith that the estimates created by AEG thus far; a full environmental review needs to be completed.

If constructed, the stadium will be here for generations.  If AEG and their NFL team need to wait until 2016 to make sure it is done right, that doesn’t seem like the biggest reason to rush the process.