In the Gumball Rally that has emerged as Inglewood and Carson race to build stadiums in the L.A. area, the company that has been trying to build a downtown venue for the past several years has thrown a fistful of nails into the path of the project proposed for the now-defunct Hollywood Park.
Via Sam Farmer and Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times, a study commissioned by AEG concludes that the Inglewood site presents an unacceptable risk of terrorism.
The study, performed by former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, warns that terrorists may try to hijack or shoot down a plane landing at LAX, with the goal of crashing it into the stadium. Ridge calls the possibility a “a terrorist event ‘twofer.’”
The NFL is aware of the report, but it doesn’t seem to be ready to endorse it.
“We feel that the best approach is to look at these things with an independent eye,” NFL executive V.P. Eric Grubman told the Times. “You should assume the NFL has its own experts hired and at work to assess any potential NFL site, in any city, regarding these matters. And it is that advice that we will rely on.”
AEG has a clear bias; it wants to build the stadium in which one or two NFL teams will play. But the concerns shouldn’t be dismissed. The Inglewood site is in the LAX landing path. If/when a Super Bowl is played there, any and every plane that passed by becomes the potential weapon for mayhem and destruction that would rival — and possibly surpass — the events of September 11, 2001.