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Roski unveiling his plan for stadium in the City of Industry, but is the league interested?

April 17, 2008|Sam Farmer | Times Staff Writer

Convinced he can succeed where so many before him have failed, billionaire developer Ed Roski today will unveil plans for a proposed NFL stadium in the City of Industry, aimed at luring the league back to the Los Angeles area.

NFL executives have already visited the site, which is near the intersection of the 57 and 60 freeways, and have had several conversations with Roski.

The league routinely had those meetings with other people interested in developing other football stadiums around Southern California, which has been without an NFL team since the Raiders and Rams left after the 1994 season.

"I think this is important for Los Angeles, for the fabric of the city," said Roski, who along with Philip Anschutz built Staples Center. "The city has done real well without the NFL, and the NFL has done real well without the city. But I think it's important to have a professional football team in Los Angeles."

Roski's proposal is different from most because he controls the land necessary to build the stadium, training facilities and related development; and he already has a certified environmental impact report for the site.

The proposal suffered a setback Wednesday when state lawmakers blocked an effort by the City of Industry to divert $820 million in property tax revenue to use it for development subsidies.

Roski said that if an NFL team is willing to relocate, construction on the stadium can begin this fall and be finished in time for the 2011 season. He added the team could begin playing in Los Angeles by the 2009 season, and conceivably use the Coliseum or Rose Bowl as a temporary home in the interim.

Roski said the design of his stadium will save hundreds of millions of dollars in construction costs. Plans call for two-thirds of the venue to be built into the existing hillside, eliminating the need for as much steel and concrete to support the superstructure. Also, the concept puts all the suites and club areas on one side of the stadium, allowing for those to be housed in a lower-cost structure than those of typical stadiums.

To coincide with today's news conference, Roski's development team has created a website ( www.losangelesfootballstadium.com) that provides more information on the proposal.

For the last few years, league owners and executives have made it clear that returning to L.A. is not among their top priorities.

At the moment, the league is focused on working out its differences with the players union, improving its revenue-sharing system between clubs, and reaching more households with the league-owned NFL Network.

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sam.farmer@latimes.com

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