Anti-poverty group seeks $60 million from NFL stadium developer
An anti-poverty group suing to invalidate a state law that gives special treatment to a downtown NFL stadium said Thursday that it wants developer Anschutz Entertainment Group to provide $60 million for affordable housing.
The Los Angeles Community Action Network said the $1.2-billion stadium will create an additional need for affordable housing, in part because of the low-wage workers who will be employed by the project. Becky Dennison, the group's co-director, said her organization is seeking $2 million a year in concessions over three decades.
“This project isn’t just about football, and it isn’t just about jobs,” said Dennison, whose group belongs to the Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition. “It’s about far-reaching implications for the community.”
The Los Angeles Planning Commission has spent eight hours reviewing agreements on the stadium project and a related $315-million renovation of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The Play Fair Coalition went to court last month seeking to block enforcement of state legislation written specifically for AEG. The law limits the period for litigation involving the stadium's environmental impact report to 175 days. Such lawsuits frequently can last two to three years.
AEG Executive Vice President Ted Fikre said that he had heard secondhand about the $60-million demand. He said the stadium and associated renovation of the Los Angeles Convention Center will not result in the removal of any housing. And he noted that AEG previously rejected the group's request for $10 million.
"Frankly, if we had been willing to agree to the $10 million, we would have had a deal by now," he said.
Fikre made his remarks hours after an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group that backed the project's special state legislation, called for Councilwoman Jan Perry to restart talks between AEG and the coalition. He warned a council committee that the lawsuit could "kill" the stadium plan by leaving it with two to three years of environmental litigation.
-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall
Image: Rendering of proposed downtown Los Angeles NFL stadium. Credit: Anschutz Entertainment Group