Southern California breaking news and trends

Approval process for Farmers Field continues despite a legal challenge

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Football fan Mike Griffin was among those who attended Thursday's Planning Commission meeting to express support for the Farmers Field project.

The proposed football stadium in downtown Los Angeles cleared a key hurdle Thursday night when the city Planning Commission unanimously approved AEG’s plans for the 76,000-seat complex known as Farmers Field.

The meeting went on for 10 hours, after nearly 100 people spoke during the public hearing. Also on Thursday, a City Council committee reviewed the rising price tag for the Convention Center wing that would have to be demolished to make way for the stadium. That committee also heard a cautionary note about a pending lawsuit that could scuttle the entire project.

But on this night, the Planning Commission was not daunted.

“This is catalytic for the entire city of L.A.,” Planning Commissioner Robert Lessin said of the project, which AEG anticipates will create 12,000 temporary construction jobs and 4,000 permanent jobs — in addition to bringing professional football back to L.A.