Last month, along with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk and Sam Farmer of the LOS ANGELES TIMES, I reported on an intriguing new downtown Los Angeles NFL stadium plan in the works. The proposed $1 billion retractable roofed facility would be financed and built by Tim Leiweke-fronted AEG and Casey Wasserman - both serious Los Angeles sports power brokers.
My instincts at the time told me the downtown plan had a very serious chance of succeeding. Now thanks to a FOX 11 newscast this week and a recent L.A. BUSINESS JOURNAL poll, it appears my initial reax was on track.
Early this month the L.A. Business Journal ran a poll asking readers which potential L.A. NFL stadium site they preferred: The proposed new downtown site or Ed Roski’s longtime City of Industry location 25 miles east of the city center. While the Biz Journal normally gets around 100 votes for its online polls, the stadium debate elicited nearly 30,000 responses.
Alfred Lee of the LABJ noted the poll results last week:
Downtown received about 45 percent of the vote; City of Industry, 40 percent. However, 15 percent said they didn’t want a football team at all. The votes appeared to be individually cast, although multiple votes were allowed early in the process, according to the Business Journal’s tech team.
Why so many votes? Lee reports that Roski and the Leiweke-Wasserman camp each initiated email campaigns to try to pump up polling support for their sides. Though from my perspective, had Roski not pushed his people to vote in the poll, the downtown location would’ve likely won in a landslide. (15 percent who voted for no NFL team? So that explains the recent carpal tunnel outbreak in the USC football office.)
While the LABJ poll is a sign of the seriousness and popularity of the downtown Los Angeles NFL Stadium bid, a local L.A. news report Wednesday perhaps gives an even clearer indication that AEG is now actively greasing the local political machinery to facilitate the project.