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'Save Our Stadiums' group didn't get enoughs signatures for referendum, Iowa Supreme Court rules

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled against the 'Save Our Stadiums' group in trying to bring the new Drake University-DMPS stadium to a public referendum.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Supreme Court has sided with a lower court and Des Moines Public Schools in striking down a list of signatures meant to prompt a public vote on a new athletic stadium for high school sports at Drake University.

"Save Our Stadiums," a group of metro parents, filed a lawsuit in July 2020 after the school district said they did not meet the required number of signatures to put the $19.5 million dollar stadium proposal to a public referendum.

While the parent group believed the number of signatures to be sufficient, Iowa courts interpreted state law to say the required number was in fact higher.

A district court dismissed the lawsuit in July 2021, stating the petition did not reach the required amount of signatures.

With minimal time to correct such the signature issue, the Iowa Supreme Court said DMPS did not need to make further efforts to provide relief.

"By running out the clock, SOS put itself in this bind. Even the District’s immediate return of the petition would have made no difference," Justice Thomas Waterman wrote.

WATCH: Arguments before the Iowa Supreme Court (Oct. 13, 2022)

Gary Dickey, the attorney for "Save Our Stadiums," issued the following statement to Local 5:

"We disagree but respect the court's decision. The only option that remains is to elect new school board members who will tear down barriers to participation for our student-athletes instead of building them up."

"We're very pleased that the state's highest court today has affirmed that the district did things that it was supposed to do in terms of moving forward with this project," DMPS Communications Director Phil Roeder said.

Construction on the 4,000-seat stadium is already underway and is expected to be completed by fall 2023. It will be located east of the Knapp Center on Drake University's campus.

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