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Public hearing on NFL stadium set for Wednesday

3/27/2011, 5 p.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.--Angelenos will get their first chance Wednesday to weigh-in on the $1 billion football stadium a developer is willing to build in exchange for the city making about $350 million in changes to the Convention Center.

An informal Planning Department hearing, open to the public, is set from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Room 501 in the Convention Center's West Hall, which would be torn down to accommodate construction.

On Friday, Anschutz Entertainment Group, operating as L.A. Event Center as far as the stadium deal goes, hired Los Angeles-based Gensler architects to come up with a design for the 64,000-seat stadium, which would take shape next to Staples Center.

Though Los Angeles has not had a professional football team since the Raiders returned to Oakland after the 1994 season, a new stadium is expected to create momentum for a National Football League move, or the creation of a new franchise.

Wednesday's hearing will start a long approval process, which is expected to include lengthy and expensive environmental impact report, which covers everything from increased traffic and pollution associated with the development to what to do with the runoff from the site.

Farmers Insurance has made a naming-rights deal for the field, and the stadium, envisioned as having a retractable roof, could be used for concerts and conventions during the off season.

AEG executives have said that increased tax revenues flowing from the stadium would more than cover long-term bond payments to finance the reconfiguration of the Convention Center.