Chivatown Post: Los Angeles politics and the future of the stadium edition

The area outside the LA Coliseum is hotly contested. - Harry How

Forget Chivas USA, what's going on at the local political and community levels in regards to a future stadium?

Editor's Note: This week, we welcome a new contributor, Omar Avalos, to the writing staff here at The Goat Parade. In his first article, Omar gives us a rundown of the local political situation concerning a potential stadium site for Chivas USA.

Exposition Park in Los Angeles is known to be an attractive option for a Major League Soccer stadium. MLS commissioner Don Garber and Chivas owner Jorge Vergara stated an interest in that location when he came to Los Angeles last November. Talks are expected to resume concerning the redevelopment of the Sports Arena into an MLS stadium (for Chivas USA), according to this document. The document is rather dated, being that it's from January 2012, and talks are very much dependent on the smoothing out of the controversies surrounding the turnover of Exposition Park to USC.

Earlier this year, in January, the California Legislative Black Caucus objected to parts of the Coliseum turnover to USC, particularly the surrendering of public parking. Adding to the controversy is how much the university will gain in contrast to what the state, the public, will lose.

It's become a major issue, to the point that Governor Jerry Brown has been asked to intervene. Recent articles suggest that the negotiations include conflicts of interest and questions of a lack of transparency during the process persist.

There has been in a buzz in the last few days concerning the future of Exposition Park. Part of this buzz came just prior to a crucial vote that was to be taken by the California Science Center board on Wednesday, June 5. That vote has now been postponed to June 25. The postponement of that vote is seen as a victory for Expo Park Museum supporters, and a setback for USC. What likely will be renegotiated is how much museum parking USC can take, or how much revenue they'll have to share with the museums. The current proposal awards USC 70 percent of museum parking.

In short, the California Science Center board will vote on what to do about the contested public parking space. The Science Center and the California African American Museum at Exposition Park, which are state agencies, share revenues from public parking there.

Although USC's taking of public parking is a major point of contention, chances are that they will get a favorable chunk of parking spaces and revenues, given that the Science Center and the African-American Museum are listed as destinations along Los Angeles Metro's Expo Line. The Science Center also encourages people to take the Expo Line.

More info will come on Tuesday, June 25, after the Science Center board makes a decision about the negotiating of public parking to USC as part of the turnover deal. The LA Sports Arena may be demolished and a soccer-specific stadium may be built in its place, but an amphitheater is also an option. Given that concerts are sometimes held at stadiums, a soccer stadium may be more desirable, even likely. Again, construction of a stadium for Chivas there depends on all of these components (the Science Center board, USC, etc.) aligning and working in their favor. First, USC has to get a favorable deal from the Science Center board, then all doubts of foul play on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission's part must be removed (with no foul play as the end result), then they get to decide what to do with the arena, bringing a home for Chivas USA one step closer to reality.

Update:

On Tuesday, June 25, the California Science Center Board voted to approve the lease to USC. The Daily TrojanThe LA Times, and LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas chimed in on the matter.

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