A new poll has found that nearly half of Angelenos support the idea of a downtown NFL stadium and that about as many don't think the project should be granted special breaks.
A survey conducted by the Center for the Study of Los Angeles found that 49% of respondents were in favor of a proposed 72,000-seat stadium, whose construction would entail the demolition and rebuilding of a portion of the Convention Center. Thirty-nine percent said they oppose the proposal, and 12% didn't answer or had no opinion.
When asked whether the developers behind the project should be granted a shorter-than-normal environmental review, 47% of respondents were opposed. In September, the Legislature approved a special legal process to fast-track challenges to the $1.4-billion project proposal.
Last week, developer Anschutz Entertainment Group released a 10,000-page draft environmental impact report on the effects of the stadium construction and Convention Center upgrade. Part of the event center upgrade would be paid for with new taxes generated from the stadium. But 47% of the poll's respondents said they do not support such a plan.
Fernando Guerra, director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles, said the results show that L.A. residents aren't behind any effort to attract a team, unlike other cities that have spent public money to lure or keep sports franchises.
"The identity of Los Angeles is not tied up to any one sports team," he said, noting that the local sports market is already flooded with multiple professional teams, as well as college squads. "You don't lack options for entertainment here."
The results of the poll, which surveyed 1,600 residents, will be officially released this week. Some of its other findings confirm what many may have assumed: that the stadium is favored especially by young people, and by men. Among people 18 to 44, 53% support the stadium. That view is shared by only 42% of people 65 and older. When it comes to gender, 55% of men support the stadium compared with 44% of women.
Education is also a factor. Fifty-two percent of those who never earned a high school degree support the stadium, while only 41% of those with graduate degrees do so.