California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill today giving a big boost to plans for an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles by Anschutz Entertainment Group, according to an AP report. The bill would accelerate any legal challenges over environmental impact over the stadium’s development.
The bill would allow for any lawsuits over the stadium’s environmental impact to go directly to the California Court of Appeal, skipping Superior Court. The appeals court would be required to deliver a ruling within 175 days.
Governor Brown framed the issue as a matter of economic development. The project is estimated to some 12,000 construction jobs and another 11,000 permanent jobs. Expediting the development, according to the Governor’s rationale, would provide some measure of relief to the state’s unemployment rate, which tops the national average.
AEG agreed to make the new development readily accessible to public transportation as well as making the stadium a “green” facility. AEG also promised to submit an environmental impact statement and purchase offsetting carbon credits.
As for a projected completion date, AEG still has its sights set on 2016. They would like to move a team to Los Angeles sooner than that, possibly in time for the 2012 NFL season.
AEG President Tim Leiweke said that the bill provides further evidence that LA is committed to being an NFL city again. Leiweke intends to work with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to determine which teams are the right candidates to relocate. The franchises mentioned most often include the San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars and the St. Louis Rams.