Recently AEG released a document that the company is referring to as a Community Benefits Program.
The document is tied to the development of Farmers Field and, according to Martha Saucedo, Executive Vice President of External Affairs for AEG, is intended to “extend the economic benefits of this project to the surrounding communities and fund improvements that enhance the quality of life and make our community a better place to live and work.”
Click HERE to read a detailed analysis of AEG’s proposed program. A close reading of the document reveals that the proposal, though intended to “maximize the benefits of the Project to the surrounding community”, is really a document of loose goals with very few actual requirements that falls short of community benefits agreements often associated with projects of this scope.
One clear example is that there is no living wage requirement, only a goal, and no enforceable means for achieving the goal. The document actually states, “Whether or not the Living Wage Goal is being met at the five and ten year reporting periods, the Event Center Owner shall be considered to be in compliance with this Section if it is compliance with the remaining provisions of this Section.” There are no other provisions in this section, besides reporting.
The Community Benefits Program is just one of many documents associated with this project. The Final Environmental Impact Report has yet to be released, which is supposed to provide mitigation measures for environmental health concerns, of which there are many in a project of this size.
In “An NFL return to L.A.? There’s a lot of smoke but still no fire,” Los Angeles Times writer Sam Farmer suggests some doubts about whether or not the NFL will return to Los Angeles in 2013:
Will any teams submit that application in the 2013 window?
Doubtful. Why would a team rush to submit an application, thereby poisoning the water in its current market, before the L.A. picture was fully in focus? Focus comes only when the downtown option has cleared all of the necessary hurdles.
AEG’s Tim Leiweke believes he can get everything checked off his list before the application deadline in five months. He has momentum with the city and a track record of getting venues built, but that’s still a tall order.
Click HERE to read the entire article, which was published in the Los Angeles Times on August 28, 2012.