MLS soccer stadium wins approval from LA City Council

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A plan to construct a $250 million stadium complex for a new Major League Soccer team on the site of the existing Los Angeles Sports Arena won approval from the City Council on Friday.

The project, approved on a 12-0 vote, will include a 22,000-seat stadium for the Los Angeles Football Club near USC, and 100,000 square-feet of space for restaurants, retail outlets, a conference center, a sports museum and 143,000 square-feet of open space for a public plaza and walkways.

The LAFC, which has yet to announce its team name, is developing the project and is expected to start playing at the new stadium in 2018. The project, designed by the Los Angeles-based Gensler architectural firm, is being built on land adjacent to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and owned by the University of Southern California. Demolition of the Sports Arena is planned for this summer.

The LAFC's website says the construction will generate 1,200 jobs and the finished project will result in 1,800 permanent, full-time jobs. The team estimates the stadium's operations will generate $129 million in economic activity and $2.5 million in local tax revenue annually.

Tom Penn, president of the LAFC, told the City Council that the team — whose owners include Earvin "Magic" Johnson, former L.A. Dodger Nomar Garciaparra, soccer star Mia Hamm Garciaparra, actor Will Ferrell and motivational speaker Tony Robbins — is “well aware of the responsibility that comes with this opportunity.”

“This is precious real estate and this is a precious place,'' Penn said of the 15-acre Exposition Park location. “The vision is to unite this diverse city around their love of this game. Thank you for this opportunity, and we pledge and promise to do you proud.''

LAFC launch and crest reveal

The LAFC is taking the place of the disbanded Chivas USA team that had shared the StubHub Center in Carson with the L.A.'s other MLS team, the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Councilman Curren Price, whose district includes the project, said the new stadium will “reactivate an often overlooked concrete jungle.''

“My constituency is incredibly excited for this project,'' Price said.

For the full text of the special use ordinance approved for the project by the City Council, see below:

Special Use Ordinance text

With contributions from Richard Core

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