Los Angeles suburb to vote on NFL stadium plan

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 21, 2015 6:15 PM

By Daina Beth Solomon

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles suburb is expected to decide on Tuesday whether to approve plans to build a 70,000-seat NFL stadium that could house the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders, officials said.

The city of Carson, about 17 miles (27 km) south of Los Angeles, has collected 14,000 resident signatures in support of building a $1.7 billion stadium, following a petition drive paid for by the two National Football League teams, which both played in Los Angeles before relocating.

While Carson's City Council was expected to vote on the plan on Tuesday, it also has the option of putting it to voters this summer, city spokeswoman Margie Revilla-Garcia said. Meanwhile, a rival stadium project in the nearby city of Inglewood was unanimously approved by its City Council in February.

The 168-acre (68-hectare) site for the potential stadium in Carson, located near major freeways, would also host entertainment events and provide space for hotel and retail developments, according to city documents. An impact report forecasts the project becoming a "regional attraction."

The Chargers and the Raiders proposed a plan in February that would have the two teams share a new stadium if they fail to solve problems with their current venues. The funds would come from private sources.

The Chargers currently play at Qualcomm Stadium, built in 1967 and upgraded twice, according to the stadium's website. The Raiders, play in the O.co Coliseum, built in 1966 and renovated for $120 million in 1995, that stadium's website said.

Both teams have tried for years to reach deals on new local stadiums, and their owners have repeatedly said they were willing to move to Los Angeles, which does not have an NFL team.

The Chargers originated in Los Angeles and played there for a year in 1960 before moving to San Diego. The Raiders played in the city from 1982 to 1994.

Meanwhile, Inglewood has approved plans for its own stadium, which names St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke as a developer. That venue would be part of a larger entertainment, commercial and residential development on 238 acres (96 hectares) near the Los Angeles International Airport and at the junction of major highways.

(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Beech)