Industry City Council votes to approve NFL stadium plan

The Southland is a little further downfield toward welcoming a National Football League team. The Industry City Council unanimously approved a plan today to build a complex that includes a 75,000 seat stadium. KPCC's Brian Watt reports.

Brian Watt: The council's vote followed a public hearing on the proposal and its environmental impact reports. Officials from most nearby cities showed up to express their support. South El Monte Mayor Blanca Figueroa said the economy is forcing cities everywhere to cut their budgets. But this complex offers a shot at economic growth.

Mayor Blanca Figueroa: Build it. Yes, they will come. Build it, yes we will all benefit. I'm pulling out my pompons as we speak, and hopefully... My cheerleading suit might be a little too small.

Watt: But some people from the neighboring cities of Diamond Bar and Walnut raised concerns about the air pollution, traffic, and safety problems that could accompany the development. One Walnut woman complained that the exhaust from all the extra cars on Grand Avenue would worsen her son's asthma. Jan Chatten-Brown is an attorney for Walnut.

Jan Chatten Brown: Searchlights, fireworks; there's going to be the noise. There's going to be other kind of dramatic impacts that you are not imposing upon your residents –
Mayor Dave Perez: Ms. Brown, you have 30 seconds.
Brown: – most of whom don't seem to live around here... but on approximately 100,000 other, mostly unwilling, residents.

Watt: The man who issued the 30-second warning to Brown was Industry Mayor Dave Perez. He allowed her to finish, and opponents of the complex have 30 days to file legal challenges. Perez said his city takes seriously the concerns of Diamond Bar and Walnut, and it's trying to work with them.

Perez: But we also have to be very supportive of creating jobs and keeping jobs, and, you know, it sounds a little corny, but without a job, there is no quality of life.

Watt: Billionaire developer Ed Roski is ready to build and finance the complex that would include retail, office, and entertainment space. Roski also hopes to buy part of a National Football League team and move it to the Southland by next year. If the NFL approves such a deal, the team would play in the Los Angeles Coliseum or the Rose Bowl while the Industry stadium is under construction.

The list of teams that could be primed for a move includes Buffalo, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New Orleans, and the three California teams. Too bad Tennessee isn't on that list right now, because its name would go well with the Southland city so eager to offer it a home: the Titans of Industry.