In the most significant step toward bringing NFL football back to Los Angeles since the city lost out on an expansion team more than a decade ago, the City Council on Tuesday approved the outlines of a $1.5-billion deal to develop a new downtown stadium and major wing of the Convention Center.
The unanimous vote gave city leaders a rare chance to seize on a major economic development after years of slashing payrolls, scaling back services and watching helplessly as the real estate market dried up. And it came at a time when business leaders and trade unions are desperately seeking ways to jump-start a local economy plagued by double-digit unemployment.
"It is a very important project at a very tenuous economic time," said Carol Schatz, executive director of the Central City Assn., a downtown business group and a leading backer of the project.
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The unanimous City Council vote, after earlier skepticism by some members, gives city leaders a rare chance to seize on a major economic development after years of cutbacks.