Venue News: Boosters Say Downtown L.A. Stadium Would Help Revitalize Area

Take a short walk away from the bright lights of Staples Center and the giant video screens above L.A. Live, and it becomes clear that the acclaimed revitalization of downtown Los Angeles is still a work in progress. This area is known as South Park, and apart from Staples Center and L.A. Live, it hasn’t seen the kind of office development and loft conversions that have given other parts of downtown thriving commerce and a burgeoning nightlife. But with the announcement that AEG wants to build a $1.35-billion football stadium and convention facility, some retailers and developers have begun scouting the neighborhood and sounding out commercial real estate brokers for opportunities. The stadium, downtown boosters say, would be very good for business

…The Anaheim City Council this week will consider a resolution to issue $75 million in privately financed bonds to help the Sacramento Kings relocate to an improved Honda Center, according to a council agenda posted this week. As proposed, a maximum of $50 million would go toward relocation costs the Kings would be charged by the NBA. The rest would be for improvements such as the addition of an NBA locker room inside the 19,000-seat arena and the construction of a practice facility…

…With the students gone on spring break, the men with chain saws showed up last week in an effort to clear more than 40 trees standing on ground that will soon be occupied by a bigger and plusher Memorial Stadium at Nebraska University. It served as a reminder that expansion to East Stadium is just around the corner, with construction scheduled to begin this spring on a project that will add approximately 6,000 seats to the 88-year-old stadium. The Board of Regents on March 11 approved a plan that increased the original project by roughly 1,000 seats and added five additional skybox suites…

… The Tiger Stadium site will remain empty for the foreseeable future, as the Detroit Economic Development Corporation rejected a $65.3 million redevelopment proposal for the site that could have brought innovation to the 9.4-acre site while maintaining the ballpark’s playing field as a community resource. The proposal would have brought two local nonprofits, a charter school, retail shops, and housing to the Tiger Stadium site; the former playing field would be maintained as a community resource. It was pitched as a plan for a “living building” for the area…

… Construction workers are poised to install fire hydrants, move high voltage poles and conduct environmental tests on Santa Clara’s site for a future 49ers football stadium, despite criticism that the city’s elected leaders are playing a shell game with redevelopment funds. Acting Assistant City Manager Carol McCarthy said that of the $4 million the council approved last week to advance the 49ers company for work on the stadium site, she expects between $700,000 and $800,000 will be spent through December on basic improvements at the site. In a controversial move, the council scrambled last week to give the team the money before state lawmakers vote on Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to disband redevelopment agencies to help balance the state budget. But 49ers fans shouldn’t consider this a stadium groundbreaking…

…Less than 24 hours after the University of Kentucky nailed down a spot in the NCAA Final Four, Mayor Jim Gray appointed a 42-member group to study the future of Rupp Arena and Lexington Center. The group, to be called the Arena, Arts and Entertainment Task Force, will be chaired by Brent Rice, a Lexington attorney and developer. It will be financed with $350,000 in private donations, which have not yet been raised. Gray said the money will be used to hire “the best of the best” consultants.