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Study Favorable on NFL, Neighbors

A team playing at the Coliseum would have little negative effect on surroundings, a report says. Backers of the site applaud the findings.

September 09, 2003|Patrick McGreevy | Times Staff Writer

As part of their campaign to bring the National Football League back to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, officials released a study Monday showing that having an NFL team play in a renovated stadium would have little negative effect on the surrounding community.

The environmental impact report, prepared for the Coliseum Commission by several outside consultants, found that night games during the workweek would be likely to create a traffic nightmare resulting in "significant impacts" at 23 of 26 intersections studied.

But the report noted that such games are rare, usually happening only once in any given season.

The effect on weekend traffic would be smaller, with only six of 26 intersections expected to be heavily traveled.

The report also considered how the community and environment would be affected by a proposed $350-million to $400-million renovation of the historic building.

It found that construction would stir up a significant amount of dust and pollution.

But it concluded that the effect would be less than that of building a new stadium at a competing site in Carson.

Upgrades would include adding 200 luxury suites, reducing seating capacity from 92,000 to 78,000 to make room for those deluxe boxes and constructing two 20,000 square-foot buildings for offices.Despite an apparent lack of interest from the NFL, Los Angeles officials have been pushing hard for football to return to the Coliseum, where the Raiders last played in 1994.

County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, a member of the Coliseum Commission, said the report showed the renovation proposal has a sound environmental basis.

Release of the report "puts the Coliseum ahead of everyone else," Yaroslavsky said of competing proposals for stadiums elsewhere.

In Pasadena, where officials are vying to bring an NFL team to the Rose Bowl, officials accepted only this month an offer from the NFL to pay for much of the cost of an environmental study, which is expected to take months.

NFL owners also agreed to advance $10 million to Carson to help pay for environmental studies.

League officials have made no such commitments to the Coliseum.

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