LOS ANGELES (AP) A proposal to build an 80,000-seat stadium in the Los Angeles suburbs that could become the home of an NFL team moved forward Thursday when election officials cleared the plan for a local vote, possibly in mid-June.
A development group that includes a company controlled by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced plans in January to build the stadium in Inglewood, about 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The proposal, which envisions a stadium rising on the site of a former horse track, raised the possibility that Los Angeles could get an NFL team again after a two-decade drought.
Los Angeles County election officials verified enough petition signatures to allow the stadium plan to go before voters, marking an incremental step toward an election that has not yet been scheduled. The Inglewood City Council is expected to consider the proposed election later this month.
When the plan was announced last month, developers said support from local voters was essential for the stadium to move forward. They said it would also allow them to avoid potentially thorny environmental reviews that could extend for months or years. An earlier review was conducted for the proposed residential and commercial development, but without a stadium.
''Ultimately, this project will only go forward if the voters of Inglewood approve,'' Christopher Meany, a senior executive with the joint venture designing and financing the project, said at the time.
According to county and Inglewood election officials, 8,500 petition signatures - enough to qualify for the ballot - were determined to be ''sufficient,'' in other words meeting legal requirements.
Another 2,990 signatures were disqualified for reasons that included the voter did not live in the city or the signature did not match voting records. Supporters submitted more than 22,000 signatures overall.
The joint venture behind the project, the Hollywood Park Land Co., said the verified signatures marked ''another step toward realizing the proposal for a new world-class stadium.''