As NFL players and the league owners have entered yet another act in the labor dispute saga, the hope of securing a team in Los Angeles — possibly next to Diamond Bar — enters another period of waiting. Mayor Steve Tye addressed the question of progress on the stadium project in his on April 1. This is the second in a three-part series addressing each of the audience questions and Mayor Tye's response.
The continuing labor dispute between NFL players and league owners has put a hold on any negotiations to bring a team to Los Angeles and the pursuit of a downtown stadium has further complicated matters for the proposed location just north of Diamond Bar.
Slow progress for the "Grand Crossing" project, in the City of Industry, "leaves much of Diamond Bar's development potential in limbo," Mayor Steve Tye said during his April 1 State of the City speech.
The Industry project, formerly referred to by its host city's name, in March at the request of the NFL, according to Associated Press reports.
But that is the first change after months of little perceptible progress toward securing a team, which is a challenge facing both projects. In the meantime, plans closer to downtown Los Angeles are getting media attention after a $700 million sponsorship from Farmers Insurance.
The downtown proposal, led by Anschutz Entertainment Group, presses on to clear regulatory and zoning hurdles that Industry developers have already surpassed.
With recent discussion of the downtown project, one resident at Diamond Bar's State of the City Address asked for clarification on where the "Grand Crossing" project stands and how the city of Diamond Bar has prepared for the possibility of a neighboring football stadium.
"Recent news coverage has focused on the proposed NFL stadium project in Los Angeles competing with the proposed Industry stadium… what is the real story? If it is built in Industry, what is the City planning to do about the impacts to our community, including traffic and the local economy?"
Mayor Tye described the situation as a waiting game for Diamond Bar, after an agreement made in March of 2009 defined what the city would receive from Industry should the project land next door.
Since that agreement, the city has otherwise been subject to putting additional development on hold, as with the site of the former Honda dealership, which is adjacent to the property eyed for the Grand Crossing stadium.
City Manager Jim DeStefano said in March that the city is preparing development goals to align with the stadium project as well as separate plans accomodating an industrial park that was planned for the same property before the stadium project was proposed.
Tye said in his April 1 speech that "the city must be ready to take advantage of such a unique economic opportunity."
"With the economic engine of a stadium, the potential for Diamond Bar's few remaining commercial properties to become highly coveted developable acreage for hotel or retail uses skyrockets," Tye said.
But Tye also noted the increase in traffic congestion that would come from the stadium, which would have 25,000 parking spaces and 75,000 seats.
Tye said that Diamond Bar was the first to sit at the bargaining table with Industry to negotiate an agreement that details the following benefits for Diamond Bar should the stadium be constructed:
- To address the congestion of game day traffic, Industry would pay Diamond Bar a total of $20 million, issued in phases as development progresses, to be spent toward mitigating traffic issues due to stadium events.
- During stadium events during which attendance exceeds 25,000, two traffic lanes will remain clear on Grand Avenue to assure emergency vehicles access.
- Upon construction, Diamond Bar would receive $1 million for a new athletic field at Lorbeer Middle School or for other city facility projects.
- The city would receive $700,000 annually for years in which at least 10 NFL games or 24 events are held at the stadium. The city could receive up to $300,000 more depending on the number of events. The city would receive $100,000 should the number of events exceed 24, 29, and 34.
- A six-foot wall and landscaped berm would also be constructed along residential neighborhoods around Neil Armstrong Elementary, adjacent to the eastern parking area to "lessen visual impacts" of the stadium project.