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Friday, December 31, 2010

Downtown Stadium Plans Revealed

Stadium design rendering by Gensler.  Image from The Architect's Newspaper and Gensler.  All Rights Reserved. 
2011 may bring a new football stadium to downtown Los Angeles, at least as far as development group AEG is concerned.  The firm released three finalist designs for a downtown stadium a few weeks ago, and all of the schemes provide an interesting look at how a new stadium might be integrated architecturally into the fabric of downtown.  Less certain, though, is how a stadium would really augment or improve the landscape of downtown Los Angeles, especially given the concerns of parking, traffic, limited yearly use, and, of course, the simple fact that LA does not actually have an NFL franchise at this point.  Certainly, the stadium would be a draw during football season and events such as concerts, but a new stadium does not seem to provide much quality of life for future downtown residents beyond access to another sports-based activity center such as that currently provided by the Staples Center.  The Architect's Newspaper has further details and a number of renderings:
The LA Rams and the LA Raiders are long gone, and Los Angeles still has no NFL team. But that hasn’t stopped developer AEG from pushing ahead with an elaborate effort to lure one, unveiling three plans for a proposed $1 billion stadium in Downtown LA last night.
The three schemes belong to Gensler, HKS, and HNTB, which were narrowed down from an initial RFP list of 9. Their designs all include a 1.7 million square foot stadium with a retractable roof, to enable convention events when football is not in town. The winner, according to the developer, will be chosen within the next month, and the stadium would be located on the site of the LA Convention Center’s West Hall, which would be demolished and relocated to a site over Pico Boulevard to the south.
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Should be interesting to see how the schemes develop, especially with a competing proposal suggested for the City of Industry.   Further info and comments on the proposals for a new stadium in LA can also be found at Forbes - LA Downtown vs. City of Industry.

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