Labor, developers reach deal on proposed NFL stadium

LOS ANGELES (AP) Labor leaders announced Thursday that they have resolved a dispute with developers that threatened to delay construction of a proposed 80,000-seat stadium near Los Angeles that could become home for an NFL team.

Earlier this month, labor leaders became alarmed after concluding that certain jobs connected to the nearly $2 billion project backed by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke might be awarded to non-unionized workers. Labor trouble could make a stadium project less appealing to the NFL and its owners, who ultimately decide on possible team moves.

In a statement Thursday, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary Rusty Hicks said agreements have been reached on those jobs for the project in Inglewood, about 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

Hicks said the federation has ”reached its goal – 100 percent of our unions have signed agreements for the proposed Inglewood stadium development. The promise of good jobs – both for the project’s construction and for ongoing operations – is now a guarantee.”

”We now have certainty that the project will be an economic engine for the entire region and help turn the tide against poverty-level jobs in Los Angeles,” Hicks added.

The politically powerful unions had been quietly gathering petition signatures in Inglewood that could have led to a local vote on the plan, potentially delaying development of the project and forcing organizers to invest additional time and money.

Any delays could be costly, with a rival stadium plan proposed by the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders moving ahead in nearby Carson.

The developer, Hollywood Park Land Co., declined comment on the union issue.

In San Diego on Thursday, the county and city announced they have joined forces in a bid to keep its NFL franchise. Mayor Kevin Faulconer and county supervisors will together spend up to $500,000 on consultants, attorneys, bankers and other experts. Voters will eventually decide whether to back a new stadium for the Chargers.

The mayor’s stadium task force is expected to announce a financing plan by May 20 in San Diego’s Mission Valley area.

Under current NFL rules, the next opportunity for a team to file to relocate would be in January 2016. State and local officials in Missouri have been maneuvering to keep the Rams.