Claremont Insider: Sam's Stadium

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sam's Stadium

Claremont's Other Stadium

While on the subject of stadiums--or stadia if you took Mrs. Bell's fourth period Latin--what about the 75,000-seat stadium proposed in the City of Industry, just north of where the 57 freeway splits south from the 60? You may not think this has anything to do with Claremont, but read on.

We lead above with the developer's artist concept of how the stadium will look. Below we show the square mile or so of open space from approximately the same vantage.

As we understand it, this development is being proposed by Lakers and Kings owner Ed Roski, Jr., through his company, Majestic Realty, to host an NFL team to be named at a later date. (We steadfastly demur on any "Build it and they will come" clich├ęs.)

What may not be entirely apparent from the images is that the stadium replaces a hill and is built somewhat down into where the hill was "to save constructions costs". So from the air this stadium would appear as a big pock or pustule on the Walnut Valley. See here for more propaganda on the stadium. We especially like the cross-section from the website, left (click to enlarge), showing how the entire hill that is there now is removed.

If you have driven south on the 57 to the 60, we are certain that you are familiar with the fact that the interchange--the 57 and 60 run together for a couple of miles--has become one of the worst traffic jams in the region. It's easy for traffic to be backed up at any time of the day, frequently to Sunset Crossing and often all the way to Temple. And northbound from Orange County? Fuggeddaboudit. More often than not you're on the brakes before you leave Brea.

Still, we are certain there is a cheery EIR on the project, somewhere, that states that the complex will have "no significant impact"--that's a favorite phrase--on traffic. Kind of like all the studies and staff reports here in Claremont on parking at the Colleges. Always "no significant impact", "no significant impact", for every project, and now parking is impossible adjacent to any college and their staff, faculty, students, and visitors are parking across College all the way to Harvard Avenue north of Sixth Street to Foothill. And soon Harvey Mudd will be parking on open space north of Foothill. But that's another post...

Claremont's Role in the NFL Stadium

In October 2008, Claremont councilmember Sam Pedroza instigated an agenda item at City Council asking for council approval of a resolution in support of the NFL stadium. A copy of the agenda report and resolution is here at the City website, or here on the proponent's website.

Dutifully, the ever-accommodating City Manager Parker regurgitated the developers' press-kit material into his staff report and presented it to council. (Really, it was Colin Tudor's work as shown in the footer on page two, but it was signed onto by Assistant City Manager Ramos as well. You'll have to read around in the developers' website to see where the verbiage in the staff report came from. Trust us: that's where they got it. See especially the FAQ, but the 6700 full-time jobs is right on the homepage.)

Let's just draw the curtain of modesty on the quality of the staff report by characterizing it as "thin".

With very little discussion--even though this was a matter of first impression for the council--Peter Yao and Ellen Taylor joined Sam Pedroza in voting approval of the resolution of support. Corey Calaycay knew something of the ramifications of the project and voted against the resolution, and Linda Elderkin knew she was being flim-flammed by the staff report and voted no, for lack of information:

In February (sorry we didn't post, we were distracted by our own city council election), at a meeting of the Industry City Council covered by camera in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Sam Pedroza spoke in favor of the stadium (see below, or click on the link to the Tribune just above, start the slideshow, and contain your excitement until slide 8 appears).

click to enlarge
As things stand today, the developer is trying to buy off Diamond Bar's traffic congestion objections for $20,000,000 . If there's no significant impact, why the baksheesh? And the City of Walnut is filing a lawsuit amid a flurry of council recall petitions.