One of the companies trying to build a stadium in L.A. has paid former Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge to prepare a report that finds a competing project to present an unacceptable risk of terrorism due to its presence in the LAX flight path.
Former Director of Homeland Security and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge once arranged for the use of public money to help build a stadium in Philadelphia that, you guessed it, sits in the local airport’s flight path.
A source with knowledge of Ridge’s efforts — and apparent lack of concern — regarding the placement of the Eagles stadium has pointed out the inconsistency. In fairness to Ridge, Lincoln Financial Field opened in 2003, which means that the wheels were in motion well before the events of September 11, 2001 significantly heightened concerns regarding the potential use of airplanes as weapons.
NFL executive V.P. Eric Grubman has said of the issue “the best approach is to look at these things with an independent eye.” Ridge’s opinion was purchased by the non-independent and clearly biased AEG, which has been trying unsuccessfully to build a stadium in downtown L.A. for the past several years. The NFL eventually will purchase (if it hasn’t already purchased) one or more opinions from truly independent experts.
And then the NFL will keep those opinions under wraps for as long as possible (if they’re not favorable), in order to not disrupt the momentum that flows from the current race to build a stadium in Los Angeles.