A new Inglewood NFL stadium proposed by a company owned by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke could be approved before the end of the month, fueling more talk about the team’s potential move back to Los Angeles.
The site, at the 238-acre Hollywood Park, has been the focus of a development effort since 2009, but only recently has an NFL stadium been part of the mix, at least where the public is concerned. And at a time when every large-scale development in the Los Angeles area is sure to receive extra scrutiny — even without much public money involved — the whole project has been kept under wraps. But that’s changing now, and the Inglewood City Council could approve the project at a Feb. 24 meeting. (Mayor James Butts says it’s a done deal.) In fact, enough signatures have been gathered to basically exempt the project from an in-depth environmental study in favor of a ballot. From the Los Angeles Times:
The developers proposed zoning changes for the stadium through a ballot initiative, which would allow them to skip lengthy reviews that civic and environmental activists say protect surrounding neighborhoods.
City officials said environmental studies were performed on the land in 2009, before the stadium was added to the project.
Last month, organizers filed 22,183 signatures, twice as many as needed to put the initiative on the ballot. The Los Angeles County registrar’s office verified 11,490 signatures, surpassing the 9,000 needed to move forward, Inglewood City Clerk Yvonne Horton said.
Though there’s obviously no NFL yet committed to a Los Angeles move, this stadium is being built in anticipation of pro football: at a cost of $1.5 billion and seating 80,000, the facility would be the center of a renovated Hollywood Park that includes entertainment, shopping and residential.
If the city approves, construction on the new stadium could begin in December.