Inglewood's plan to build an NFL stadium in hopes of attracting a pro football team to Southern California took a step forward Thursday with the verification of petition signatures needed to place the project before voters.
The 80,000-seat stadium is part of Hollywood Park Land Co.'s proposal, called City of Champions Revitatlization Project, for a development at the site of the old horse racing track. The Los Angeles County registrar's office verified about 11,000 signatures, more than the required number, according to the Los Angeles Times, which cited Inglewood city officials.
Inglewood Mayor James Butts told NBC4 Thursday that a total of 22,000 signatures were collected in less than three weeks.
"The council could have taken it up to the planning commission, which would take about two to three years, or people could put out a petition," Butts told "The Fred Roggin Show" Wednesday.
The city clerk will forward the resolution to the council at its next scheduled meeting, set for Feb. 24, Butts said. That meeting will include public comment on the plan, Butts said, adding that the city has ordered environmental reviews and other reports on the project.
Butts told Roggin it's not likely the council will take action Feb. 24, opting instead to hold over the issue until its March 3 meeting.
"I can say that there has been overwhelming support for this motion. The residents of Inglewood are excited about the jobs and revenue this would create."
Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced plans to build the stadium on the site, which would include the stadium as part of a sprawling complex that includes homes, offices and entertainment venues. Kroenke also owns the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and a majority stake in English soccer team Arsenal.
It's the latest in a string of stadium proposals in the Los Angeles area since the Rams and the Oakland Raiders abandoned Southern California after the 1994 season. City officials extended an option with the owners of Staples Center to build an 80,000-seat stadium to be known as Farmers Field downtown, next to the 10- and 110-freeway junction, provided a team commits to moving there.
The Rose Bowl and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum also could host a team, at least temporarily.
The NFL has expressed an interest in a Los Angeles franchise, but the league has no plans for expansion, meaning an existing team would need to move to Southern California.The NFL has ruled out any team move for the 2015 season, but leaves open the possibility in 2016.