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New stadium set for Exposition Park

Merdies Hayes | 5/21/2015, midnight
The team doesn’t yet have a name, but plans were announced this week that a new soccer stadium will be ...

The team doesn’t yet have a name, but plans were announced this week that a new soccer stadium will be built on the site of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Area in Exposition Park. The sports arena will be demolished.

The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) ownership group, including Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Mia Hamm-Garciapara and husband, Nomar, author/speaker Tony Robbins, and sports/entertainment mogul Peter Gruber, intends on building a 22,000-seat stadium. The new team is expected to rival the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer (MLS).

“We are committed to making our home in South Los Angeles and to be part of the phenomenal development happening along the Figueroa Corridor that extends to downtown Los Angeles,” said Henry Nguyen, head of the LAFC ownership group. Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price was expected this week to bring the matter before the council in hopes of a speedy “yes” vote in completing necessary environmental reviews, entitlements and infrastructure investment.

“This project is a tremendous gain for our community that will bring lasting benefits for our local economy including adding thousands of new local jobs and spurring new economic development opportunities for the district I represent—and all of Los Angeles,” Price said.

The goal is to have the new stadium ready for its inaugural MLS season in 2018. The club was announced as an MLS expansion team last summer and originally had planned to begin play in 2017. The development is expected to bring an estimated $250 million in private investments into South Los Angeles and reportedly will include restaurants, office space, a conference center and a soccer museum.

The construction of the new stadium is expected to produce more than 1,200 new union and non-union construction jobs. Once opened, the new facility is estimated to generate more than $129 million in new economic activity, create more than 1,800 full-time jobs and produce about $2.5 million in annual tax revenue.

“Los Angeles is a city famed for its creativity and innovation,” Gruber said. “In that tradition, we look forward to building a premier club, in a state-of-the-art stadium delivering a ‘state-of-the-heart’ experience, and bring the world’s game to the City of Angels.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is equally excited about the new stadium, saying this week that he was “... especially pleased that this proposed state-of-the-art stadium will be located in South Los Angeles to help revive that neighborhood and bring more jobs and opportunity for our residents.”