Bore holes are to be sunk at the Bowl in Douglas to check its suitability for conversion into a national stadium, with seating for up to 4,500.
Councillors have approved expenditure on the next phase of the project which the council hopes will be completed by 2011, when the Island is due to host the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Council Leader David Christian says the work is essential because of the scale of the proposed scheme (audio file attached):
Councillor Christian is continuing to stress that other parties, including the government, will have to get on board to make the dream a reality.
(Picture: A computer-generated image of how the fold-up seating would look at the proposed national stadium).