Two experienced downtown planners from Michigan and Florida argue on the Times op-ed page that "with rare exceptions, we think that although basketball and hockey arenas can make sense and baseball parks have merit, football stadiums can be a bad choice for downtowns." Don Shea and David Feehan list several questions that L.A. officials better be able to answer before committing a big swath of Downtown to another AEG edifice. Excerpt:
•Downtown sports facilities take up large amounts of scarce land, sometimes as much as 100 acres in the case of football stadiums and associated parking. Aren't there better uses?
•Football stadiums host a very limited number of games, and in cold-weather cities are useless for a third of the year unless domed. Why should they be downtown?
•With cities increasingly strapped for funds, should public money subsidize downtown sports facilities?
•How effective an economic development strategy is a downtown sports facility?