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L.A. area lawmakers unanimously OK $2B NFL stadium

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- The Inglewood City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a massive development project to try to lure the NFL back to Los Angeles, reports CBS Los Angeles.

Developers turned the heat up on the possibility of building what could be the country's most expensive football stadium ever as the council debated the plan.

The council gave a green light to $2 billion, 80,000-seat stadium with a 5-0 vote.

Many members of the public showed up at the meeting, wearing Rams jerseys.

The St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers have been mentioned as possibilities to move to the new stadium.

The plan that was approved includes Rams owner Stan Kroenke as a partner.

The vote fast-tracks construction by enabling the city to avoid a public vote and a long environmental review, and clears a path for a return of the NFL to the area for the first time in more than 20 years.

The project now depends on the partnership seeking to build a stadium on the site of the former Hollywood Park horse track, and on the NFL, which has emphasized that any decision to return to the L.A.-area ultimately lies with the league.

Still up in the air is how much of the development's tab would fall to taxpayers.

Supporters of the stadium say taxpayers won't be responsible for the development, while other sources indicate that, once the stadium is built and the city gets its $25 million in annual revenue, the developers may receive as much as $100 million over the next five years in excess tax revenue.

"Think of all the revenue that's going to come," one supporter stated to the council. "Think about Super Bowls, think about the Olympics, think about hotels, shopping, concerts, all these restaurants full of people, generating revenue. Inglewood is going to be the city of champions, and you guys can do it. You're writing history today. Make it happen."

However, not everyone in attendance was in favor of the development, with some pointing at the potential for a more hazardous traffic situation.

"I hope you put this off and let the people of this community vote after they've had an opportunity to look at the entire 260 pages on this initiative, the additional 187 pages, because you know what? We have traffic issues in the form of 16,000 operating," one opposed resident said. "Eighty thousand is significantly greater. To pretend we have no traffic issues when we have larger than that of Dodger Stadium is slightly ridiculous."

A team could be in L.A. by 2018, if everything moves ahead as projected.

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