NFL stadium project at Hollywood Park could go to City Council vote tonight

Inglewood City Council could put Hollywood Park stadium development project to a vote Tuesday night

Moving quickly, the Inglewood City Council is in position to vote Tuesday evening to clear the way for an 80,000-seat professional football stadium as part of an expanded Hollywood Park development project.

Neither the city’s mayor nor council members would say whether they expect a vote, but the first action item on Tuesday’s agenda would permit the council to approve the stadium plan outright or put it to a citywide vote this spring.

According to the agenda, the council will review economic and environmental reports commissioned by the city to determine the impact of adding a stadium to the development planned for the 238-acre former Hollywood Park racetrack.  The reports, which were released Monday, project that the stadium would boost the city’s budget by $18.7- to $28 million a year over the next 15 years, while creating manageable traffic and environmental impacts.

The favorable reports could give an extra layer of comfort to city leaders who’ve aggressively pushed the project through the sometimes-sluggish layers of bureaucracy. The stadium proposal was only first revealed in early January.

Mayor James T. Butts told The Times earlier this month that he was waiting to hear the results of the studies before making a decision on whether he felt comfortable voting for the initiative or putting it to a public vote. 

"I'm leaning toward whatever would get us down the road the fastest," he told The Times.

In that same phone interview, Butts said that the item could be tabled until the March 3 meeting. But that was before the owners of the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders revealed plans to build a $1.7-billion stadium in Carson, a move that might pressure the Inglewood City Council to move as rapidly as possible.

The stadium initiative is listed as the first item for public discussion on the agenda, which would allow ample time for public comment, council discussion and a vote. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.   

Hollywood Park Land Co., the development company that includes St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, said it hopes to start construction by the end of the year.

No football team has committed to moving to Los Angeles, and the NFL has said that is not a possibility until the 2016 season.  Still, many view the stadium as a critical first step for the NFL to return to the L.A. market.  

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