The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to move forward with a $250 million project to build a 22,000-seat soccer stadium at Exposition Park in South Los Angeles.
The project, approved on a 12-0 vote, will replace the existing Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena with a stadium to house a Major League Soccer team.
Restaurants, retail and a sports museum are also part of the plans for the site. The project calls for about 143,000 square feet of open space for public use, including wide sidewalks and plazas.
Los Angeles Football Club was announced last year as a replacement for the disbanded Chivas USA soccer club, which played for 10 years at StubHub Center in Carson, sharing the facility with the Los Angeles Galaxy. The new MLS team is expected to begin play in 2018 at the new stadium.
Councilman Curren Price, whose district includes the project, said the stadium will "reactivate an often overlooked concrete jungle,'' and called the project the largest the city and South Los Angeles "has seen in decades.''
"My constituency is incredibly excited for this project,'' Price said, noting there are many soccer fans in his district.
Los Angeles Football Club co-owner and president Tom Penn said his team is "well aware of the responsibility that comes with this opportunity.''
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"This is precious real estate and this is a precious place,'' Penn said. "The vision is to unite this diverse city around their love of this game. Thank you for this opportunity and we pledge a promise to do you proud.''