"We need to do the will of the people and we need to do it tonight," said the mayor of Inglewood, Calif., moments before fast-tracking approval for construction of a football stadium for the Rams so that the people will never get to vote on it.
Last night, before dozens of fans wearing Rams gear, the City Council voted 5-0 to approve the stadium.
The vote adopts a new redevelopment plan without calling a public vote, effectively kickstarting construction and sidestepping lengthy environmental review of issues such as noise, traffic and air pollution.
(The stadium development group, which includes Rams owner Stan Kroenke, has donated major campaign funds to the mayor and to councilmembers.)
The vote itself was unexpected—the council was merely supposed to hear the proposal yesterday, and then, next week, decide whether to adopt it or put it on a June 2 ballot. But things changed when the Chargers and Raiders unveiled plans for their own Los Angeles stadium. It's now a race, not merely to squeeze out cushy stadium deals, but to do so before the other team steals your leverage.