Belmont Shore Area Resident Launches Web Site In Crusade to Bring NFL to LB; Proposes ELB Stadium On Boeing Property West of Lakewood Blvd., South of Carson St.
(January 26, 2004) -- After making several trips to the public podium to urge Council members to invite the NFL to bring a football team to Long Beach at a stadium he foresees on Boeing-owned property (west of Lakewood Blvd., south of Carson St. which Boeing plans for its PacifiCenter development) -- and getting a polite but cold shoulder from Councilwoman Jackie Kell and Mayor Beverly O'Neill -- Belmont Shore area resident Gary Biggerstaff is escalating his advocacy with a web site.
Mr. Biggerstaff has launched www.nfllongbeach.com (screen save, right), which states:
"This web site is dedicated to educating the public as to the viability of building a football stadium in the City of Long Beach and returning the NFL to Southern California."
Posters like this one have popped up in parts of ELB promoting the web site.
Mr. Biggerstaff's web site states in pertinent part:Even a 5-11 team could bring as much as $79 million annually to its host city...Long Beach is facing a $97 million budget deficit. Tax revenue generated from an NFL Team would go a long way towards helping the city out of this financial crisis.tax revenue generated from an NFL Team would go a long way towards helping the city out of this financial crisis...The NFL is willing to finance the Stadium and hand over the keys to the team and the City...
Mr. Biggerstaff's web site indicates the location envisioned by Mr. Biggerstaff is part of the former 260 acre Boeing plant property, south of Carson St. and west of Lakewood Blvd. abutting a golf course to the west, with LB Airport to the south and a city of Lakewood residential neighborhood north of Carson St.
Mr. Biggerstaff -- a LB firefighter who last fall (as previously reported by LBReport.com) created a hand made memorial on his front lawn honoring firefighters lost in the 9-11-01 terrorist attack -- says southern California is the country's second largest TV market and the NLF wants to return.
"Because there is a lack of direct contact to professional football, the NFL risks losing a whole generation of fans. The NFL realizes that in today's financial climate cities just don't have the funds to build a stadium. If the NFL wants to return to the L.A. area they will have to finance it themselves," Mr. Biggerstaff's web site says.
"The NFL is ready to come to town and discuss the viability of this project but the Long Beach City Council has not exactly put out the welcome mat," the web site declares.
As for residents who live nearby:
I propose the stadium would be located near the airport side of the property. There are fewer than 300 homes within a mile of the location. I propose that a stadium district could be created that would include homes that would be most impacted by the presence of a stadium. Homes inside the stadium district could be eligible to draw low interest home improvement loans from revenues generated by the stadium and parking fees. Season tickets or personal seat licenses could also be offered to home owners in the district. Unauthorized parking in surrounding areas could be aggressively managed. Only a couple neighborhoods would even be close enough to foresee a parking issue. Those homeowners could be issued parking stickers and tow trucks and police could secure the areas on game days.
The web site indicates that "[s]ometime in mid-January a community meeting will be held to share information and opinions regarding this vital issue. Any and all who have something to say about an NFL Team in Long Beach are welcome. Please check back to this site for time and location." [It's past mid-January and we did not hear of any such community meeting.]
Mr. Biggerstaff's web site continues:
It has been estimated that a stadium and parking could be built on as little as 70 acres with the stadium itself requiring approx. 20 acres of the total area, providing that a multi-level parking structure is utilized. Multi-level parking structures use less acreage. For example, the recently built facility at Disneyland houses up to 10,000 cars. With the convenience of the Blue Line able to deliver fans from around Southern California, there would also be a reduced need for additional on-site parking.
Mr. Bigggerstaff's web site acknowledges that adjacent LB Airport has "two north/sound runways" that are considered active but "are seldom used (less than 2% of the time). According to the FAA, there would be flight restrictions of 3 miles and 3000 ft during games. These restrictions would only apply to private aircraft. Commercial and charter flights would be unaffected."
Mr. Biggerstaff's web site also notes that Boeing would like to develop its property as mixed use (commercial and residential)...but says the City Council "has the power to approve or disapprove any plan put before it."