Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Thursday paving the way for the construction of a 75,000-seat football stadium in Los Angeles.
The bill called for an environmental waiver on the construction of the stadium in Industry, a city about 15 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles. The bill’s passage means USC Trustee Edward Roski Jr.’s Majestic Realty Co. will now be exempt from complying with the development and operation requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act.
“This is the best kind of action state government can create — action that cuts red tape, generates jobs, is environmentally friendly and brings a continued economic boost to California,” Schwarzenegger said in a press release. “This legislation allows us to move forward with the construction of the nation’s greenest football stadium and create thousands of jobs.”
The $800-million project is expected to pump more than $760 million annually into the local economy, and will include an orthopedic hospital, a movie and live-performance theater and office and retail space, according to the press release. The stadium will also be the first LEED-certified stadium, powering its operations with solar panels and using recycled water. It will also be built into a hillside, reducing the amount of steel and concrete used.
Roski and Majestic had lobbied earlier extensively to pass the law for stadium, arguing that it would create about 18,000 jobs and additional long-term profits if the company is able to bring an NFL team to the stadium.
Majestic will approaching seven teams in February, after the Super Bowl, about a move to the city based on their present contracts and audience markets. According to the Associated Press, the company will be speaking to the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers.
The stadium bill previously hit a snag when the City of Walnut threatened to sue neighboring Industry, citing the environmental and traffic impact of the new stadium.
Walnut City Council was eventually persuaded to drop the lawsuit in return for a $9 million payment deal for traffic improvements as well as an annual payment to a Walnut “community fund.”
Roski is prepared to break ground on the project as soon as a team is locked in and is confident that Majestic will be able to raise the funds despite tight credit markets, the Associated Press reported.