Campaigners mounting a last-ditch bid to save Don Valley Stadium handed in a petition with almost 6,000 names this week.
The signatures were collected in just a week and will trigger a debate by the full council next Wednesday.
The Save Our Stadium group, led by former Don Valley coach Rob Creasey, wants the authority to halt demolition plans to keep alive the option of a community takeover.
Handing in the petition at the Town Hall on Tuesday with youngsters from the Team Blaze athletics club he runs, Rob said: “I would like to thank the public for their support. I want the council to consider our request for the community to run the stadium. It would be more than just about athletics – there would be educational and community elements.”
The council closed Don Valley to save £700,000 a year, saying there was no viable alternative scheme. Provisional proposals for the site include a school and University Technical College. Athletics has moved to Woodbourn Road.