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Villaraigosa against waiving environmental rules for NFL stadium

August 16, 2011 |  1:22 pm

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Magic Johnson
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa expressed skepticism Tuesday that the Legislature would give a proposed NFL stadium downtown an exemption from environmental lawsuits.

"I don’t think they are going to do that, and I don’t think they should," Villaraigosa said in an interview with reporters in The Times' Sacramento bureau. "I think the public wants a level of transparency, and I think we’ve had it up to now."

Stadium developer Anschutz Entertainment Group is working on state legislation to limit the type of legal challenges that could be pursued based on environmental issues.

AEG Chief Executive Tim Leiweke said last week his firm is asking for "protection from frivolous lawsuits from those who are trying to get a competitive advantage or those who are just trying to destroy the process."

Legislation has not yet been introduced, but a state Senate committee is holding a public hearing next week to determine whether lawmakers should grant AEG protection from lawsuits similar to what they approved for a competing football stadium proposed in the City of Industry.

Read more about Villaraigosa and the proposed football stadium on the L.A. Now blog.

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-- Patrick McGreevy

Photo: L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Magic Johnson give their support to the proposed NFL stadium downtown. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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