Are you still foolish enough to be getting your hopes up for every new plan to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles? Just a reminder that not a single one of those has worked out in two decades since the football league abandoned the city. (It only takes one, though, right?) The latest plan all full of promise is in Inglewood, adjacent to the massive multi-use redevelopment of the Hollywood Park racetrack, and courtesy of St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke. And it's very promising: it's got a team connected (if not officially committed) and it's already managed to bypass a lengthy environmental review and possible legal challenges—developers got plenty of signatures to put it up to for a citywide vote and then the city council decided to approve the project without even bothering with the ballot measure. But now here comes its first setback.
The developers have so far refused to officially commit to hiring union workers to build and operate the stadium and, while they've promised "good jobs," labor leaders are worried they won't quite stick to that promise. (Union jobs mean better protections for workers and guaranteed decent wages; "We've got enough poverty jobs," says one labor leader.) So to try to keep the Inglewood developers honest, they've "been quietly gathering petition signatures in Inglewood that could lead to a local vote on the plan," reports the LA Daily News. That vote could override the city council's decision.
And as is usually the way, the older stadium plan is losing out to a younger, slightly shinier upstart. The Inglewood plan was proposed in January; in February, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders proposed their own joint stadium to be built in Carson. Labor unions say about that they "have good commitments that this [Chargers/Raiders] thing is going to be union from top to bottom." And it's just kicked off its own signature drive to qualify for a city ballot measure.
At least the cycle's moving much faster these days. The Downtown NFL stadium plan took five whole years to burn up, finally fizzling out earlier this week.
· Friction between unions, developers could snarl Inglewood NFL stadium project [LADN]
· Inglewood Approves NFL Stadium; Work Can Start This Year [Curbed LA]
· A 20 Year History of Trying to Bring the NFL Back to LA [Curbed LA]