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AEG on sidelines in new Los Angeles stadium wars

Farmers Field, Los Angeles

With new facilities on track in Inglewood and Carson, AEG officials pitching a downtown stadium are now on the sidelines when it comes to a new Los Angeles stadium.

There is a certain irony that the proposal once viewed as being the more realistic option for a new Los Angeles stadium is now an also-ran, as suburban cities have seized the opportunity to host an NFL team. With Stan Kroenke, St. Louis Rams owner, in the lead for a $1.86-million development at Hollywood Park that would include a stadium, retail, entertainment and more, Inglewood would seem to be a lock for a new facility. And with Carson officials pushing for a referendum on a stadium project to house the San Diego Chargers and and Oakland Raiders, AEG — which forged no deal with an NFL team — is on the sidelines.

That’s not stopping AEG officials from lobbying against the Hollywood Park proposal, arguing its proximity to Los Angeles International Airport could make it a target for terrorists. That’s not an argument causing much concern from city officials, according to the Los Angeles Times:

It has paid for two reports that questioned the safety of the Inglewood stadium that would be constructed at the old Hollywood Park racetrack, which is under the main approach route to Los Angeles International Airport.

In one, Mark Rosenker, former head of the National Transportation Safety Board, cautioned about flaps or landing-gear doors detaching from airplanes approaching LAX and falling near the stadium.

AEG hired former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to conduct a separate review of potential security threats. Ridge issued a report warning that terrorists could shoot down an airplane over the stadium, a scenario he described as a “terrorist event ‘twofer.'”

Aviation experts disagreed.

The move is also defensive: AEG is behind the Staples Center and the accompanying L.A. Live development, and a new stadium in Inglewood would be a competitor.

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August Publications