Those who know me well are aware that I am in no way a sports enthusiast, in fact, rather the opposite. There is not a single sporting event I have been too other than to perform there and at home I doubt I have viewed a game (football, baseball, etc.) for more than fifteen minutes. I have been very vocal in my opposition to having a football team at my school and its drain on already scarce resources. And yet, to even my own surprise, I have recently become very passionate and supportive of non-other than an American football stadium. This football stadium is unique in that it is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles in the L.A. Live complex. The cache however; it has not been built yet.
Los Angeles, the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the world, has been without a football team for almost two decades. These two statements cannot possibly be refereeing to the same city, and yet it is city I have grown up with. People had started to become complacent and used to this oddity and that it would last indefinitely. And then several years ago Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) proposed a marvelous idea; to bring a professional football team back to Los Angeles and provide them with a state of the art and redefined sports complex.
So why then am I writing a positive blog post pushing for my readers support on this project? It is because sports in Los Angeles and in particular Farmers Field reach far beyond football. The benefits of this endeavor will affect all of Loa Angeles and not simply the sports industry.
As one can see in video which introduces this blog, the proposed package by AEG includes not only the building of Farmers Field, but also a complete redevelopment and expansion of the L.A. Convention Center and the construction of a new plaza at L.A. Live. Construction alone will provide years of steady work for building crews and when completed Los Angeles will go from having the 15th to 5th largest convention center in the nation. The modernization of the convention center will attract a myriad of new events to the city that have previously been turned off by its current condition. The stadium will generate millions in revenue for the city and spur the construction of new hotels and facilities for its patrons. For too long people have avoided this area of Los Angeles and condemned it to deterioration. The plaza will continue the work of L.A. Live to attract tourism and investment to the city of L.A. Farmers Field could be the stepping stone for further redevelopments in Los Angeles and create a world class city for the 21st century that we can be proud of.
As with any major development project there are bound to be those who seek its downfall. While some of the concerns may be justified, I highly doubt any such problems will occur. Mayoral candidate Kevin James has suggested on his website that the construction would force the city to pay $300 million in support of the effort. AEG adamantly proclaims it will front all of the money towards the project and I have seen no research to support James’s claim. I highly doubt a multi-billion dollar company would need any assistance from the public. Even if this were so, it would be one of the smartest uses of public money that Los Angeles can make during this time. The other major concern is the impact the stadium will have on traffic, noise, and the poor in the area. The city is already in the process of redeveloping the freeway system around L.A. Live to accommodate large crowds and AEG will also building onsite parking and making efficient use of the new metro system. To those who would complain about noise and light pollution would be I would say to please remember they live in the heart of the second largest city in the country and should not expect the vibe of the Valley. Farmers Field will inevitable create new housing and amenities that will help, not hinder the poor of the area. To all who oppose this project I would say to remember Los Angeles can only better itself.
The fight for Farmers Field reminds me of the fight for a city to host the Olympic Games. There will always be fear of things like cost, traffic, and lack of use. These fears have very little chance of coming to fruition and the economic stimulus that the complex would provide to Los Angeles, like the Olympic Games, can provide an opportunity to transform a city. I am proud to call myself an Angelino and Farmers Field will spread this pride to all who dwell in the City of Angels.