The California State Senate passed a bill Friday afternoon that aims to speed up legal challenges to the construction of Farmers Field, the $1.2 billion proposed football stadium in downtown Los Angeles. Senate Bill 292 passed 32-7 and will now go to the desk of California Gov. Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign it.
Arash Markazi of ESPN LA reports:
Friday's decision represents the biggest milestone for the NFL's return to Los Angeles since the city council unanimously passed the financial framework of an agreement between AEG and the city last month to build the 72,000-seat stadium and a new $275 million wing of the Los Angeles Convention Center next to Staples Center and L.A. Live, also owned by AEG. AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke said plans for Farmers Field could not have continued unless the bill was passed.
Markazi noted on his twitter account that he "Cannot underscore the significance of today's senate vote enough. If AEG gets past EIR (Environmental Impact Report) process, the NFL will likely be back in LA next year. If AEG takes care of environmental and legal actions by May, which they expect to, an NFL team, likely the Chargers, will be playing in LA."
AEG's goal is to get a new team to LA by May of next year, where they can play in the Rose Bowl or the Colseum until Farmers Field is finished. If the legal proceedings last past May into June or July (when team's training camps begin), it probably means that the team's move, likely the Chargers, will have to be pushed back a year into 2013.