LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — A report commissioned by the developer of a downtown Los Angeles football stadium warns that a rival project nearby could be a potential terrorist target because of its proximity to Los Angeles International Airport.
The 14-page report was commissioned by Anschutz Entertainment Group, which wants to build a stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
A development venture linked to Rams owner Stan Kroenke has proposed a stadium in Inglewood, about 10 miles from downtown.
The report was released Friday at a time when several potential stadium projects are competing to bring an NFL team to Southern California, two decades after the Rams and Raiders pulled out.
The report by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge finds that constructing an 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood — as close as 2.5 miles from an airport runway — “materially increases the risk of a terrorist event.”
Ridge concluded that in a world when terrorism is a recognized threat that “the peril of placing a National Football League stadium in the direct flight path of (the airport)” … outweighs whatever benefits it would bring over its lifespan.
He wrote that local leaders, “…must be willing to accept the significant risk, and the possible consequences…” Ridge added, “…this should give both public and private leaders in the area some pause.”
The Hollywood Park Land Co., which is developing the Inglewood site, declined to comment. AEG also declined to comment.
The Los Angeles area has become the hottest market for stadiums in the country, though the NFL must approve any plan for relocation, a lengthy and complex process.
The Raiders and the San Diego Chargers announced last week that they are planning a shared stadium in Carson if both teams fail to get new stadiums in their current hometowns. Another stadium has been proposed in Industry.
KCAL9’s Juan Fernandez spoke to people who didn’t think the proposed stadium’s proximity to the airport made it any more vulnerable to an attack.
“As long as we keep the airlines secure,” said USC Civil Engineering Professor Jim Moore, “we can put the stadium any place we want.”
Moore hadn’t read or seen the 14-page before but doesn’t believe a stadium closer to the airport poses any significant risk.
“Any circumstance in which you’ve got an airport,” Moore says, “that is embedded in the fabric of a metropolitan area, that airport is close to these facilities so I don’t think there is a particularly elevated risk for a stadium in this location, relative to the other population centers that are near LAX.”
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