State lawmakers have spent a lot of time on professional sports stadiums — and they have little to show for it – Los Angeles Times

With the Raiders deciding to leave Oakland for a $1.9-billion football stadium in Las Vegas, the carousel of moves and threats to move by California’s professional sports teams appears to be slowing down. So too does all the action in the state Legislature designed to help build new stadiums.

Since 2009, state lawmakers have tried to make it easier to build new football stadiums in the San Gabriel Valley, San Diego and downtown Los Angeles, and basketball arenas in Sacramento and San Francisco. Although many of the bills were passed during frantic, dead-of-the-night gambits to meet state budget or end-of-session deadlines, with the exception of legislation for a new Sacramento Kings arena, lawmakers don’t have much to show for their efforts.

“I think when you have an opportunity to create significant economic development in our state that it is worth trying,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who led the state Senate from 2008 to 2014 and was at the center of many of the bills to speed the development process for stadiums. “Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don’t. And you know for sure when you don’t try, you have no chance.”

None of the football stadiums lawmakers passed special legislation to benefit since 2009 were built. The Rams-Chargers stadium now under construction in Inglewood bypassed help from lawmakers, following a strategy that involved collecting signatures from residents supporting the project. This method allowed Inglewood’s City Council to approve the stadium just six weeks after the team unveiled plans — far quicker than most of the bills legislators passed would have.

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