Later this morning, the Los Angeles City Council will get its first look at the non-binding memorandum of understanding that could allow the Anschutz Entertainment Group to bring professional football back to Los Angeles. Unlike Wednesday evening’s ad hoc committee meeting, I will not run a live blog for this meeting. However, because I expect this to be a very long day of discussion and debate, I will post updates here and on Twitter throughout the council meeting.
2:28 p.m. The council’s discussion on Farmers Field has concluded. The MOU will be back in the ad hoc committee on Aug. 3. The non-binding agreement is expected to be back in council — this time for a vote — in about 10 days.
1:32 p.m. CLA Gerry Miller is explaining to the city council what “non-binding” means.
1:28 p.m. Councilman Paul Krekorian is asking about the process of transitioning convention business from the West Hall to Pico Hall. Part of the answer he’s looking for is in Section 3, subsection A in the MOU.
1:17 p.m. Bill Rosendahl cautions against kumbaya-ing. Too late, this whole meeting is basically a love fest around the camp fire of AEG.
1:13 p.m. So far, we’ve heard from Councilmen Tony Cardenas, Paul Koretz, Eric Garcetti and Ed Reyes. They all support the project, though they have a few questions here and there.
12:54 p.m. We’re getting to the good stuff now, with city council beginning debate.
12:13 p.m. AEG’s Tim Leiweke is up, thanking all the union folks who stocked the chamber today. Leiweke says negotiations haven’t always been easy because he has had to deal with cavemen — citizens against virtually everything.
12:08 p.m. A resident of Pico-Union testifies that she is against the project because crime and traffic have both increased in the area since the Staples Center and L.A. Live opened. She also complains that limos are parked in the neighborhood during events, and drivers then pick up prostitutes.
12:05 p.m. The mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the Downtown Events Center released this statement today regarding the Farmers Field proposal:
“We plan to take a careful look at the memorandum of understanding, in particular the five criteria we set forth several months ago – job creation, impact on the city’s finances, traffic and plans to mitigate the impact, impact on the city’s convention business, AEG’s ability to ensure completion of the project and willingness to stand behind the long-term nature of the obligations. We will continue to work on this, listen to the concerns of Angelenos along the way, and present our views to the Mayor and the community of Los Angeles.”
The statement is signed by the commission’s co-chair, Austin Beutner.
11:48 a.m. Public comment period is underway. There are 50 cards, only two of which are against the Farmers Field project. AEG did a nice job of packing City Hall.
11:14 a.m. Councilwoman Jan Perry, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Farmers Field, made an opening statement in which she called the MOU a very strong deal. She announced that the next meeting of the committee will be on Aug. 3 at 5 p.m. at City Hall. In September, another meeting will be held to discuss planning issues related to the development.
11 a.m. Snapshot of crowd waiting to get into chamber:
10:55 a.m. Council chamber is packed, with a small overflow crowd standing in the back of the room. Another 200 or so people are in the rotunda, waiting for any space to clear in chamber. There are a lot of men in union T-shirts, some that specifically urge support for Pico Hall, which is the working name of the convention space that would be built after the West Hall is torn down to make room for Farmers Field.
Back inside chamber, AEG’s Tim Leiweke is seated in the front row. City News Service’s city hall reporter also spotted Earvin “Magic” Johnson in the crowd.
(First posted at 10:55 a.m.)