Colchester's new 10,000-seater stadium is now "on target" to open in the summer of 2007, according to Colchester Borough Council leader John Jowers.
Colchester United hope to move from their current Layer Road ground
"We are now 95%-plus likely to have a football stadium at Cuckoo Farm in time for the 2007/08 season," Jowers told the East Anglian Daily Times.
"We are on target - we now have to agree exactly what we want."
A new management company is to be formed to run the stadium, which is due to cost £10m of taxpayers' money.
It was agreed at a meeting on Wednesday that the management company would be made up of the council, local strategic planning partnership Colchester 2020, the Colchester United Community Sports Trust, and the football club itself.
The U's have played at Layer Road since they were formed in 1937 - taking over the stadium from the previous occupants - amateur side Colchester Town.