Development Could Make New Los Angeles Stadium a Year-Round Draw
With its large scope and unique mix of amenities, the development surrounding a new Los Angeles stadium could make the area a hub of year-round activity.
Known as the LA Stadium & Entertainment District at Hollywood Park, the project taking shape in Inglewood will result in a new home for the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers starting in the 2020 season. The vision of Rams owner Stan Kroenke calls for more than a stadium, however, as the sprawling 298-acre project will include surrounding development.
A key part of that development will be the 250,000-square-foot west coast headquarters for NFL Media and the NFL Network, but the total project will include mixed-use amenities built out over multiple phases. At a point where professional sports facilities are increasingly expected to be surrounding by development and draw visitors outside of game days, the Los Angeles stadium will be unique in a few respects. Aside from its broad scope, the project’s estimated price tag is now more than $5 billion, and its progress is being watched closely. More from the Washington Post:
“If you’re going to build a stadium in a city, it has to play a larger role than the NFL. It has to bring people together in a meaningful way — both on Sunday and on every other day of the week, both in the fall and every other season. That’s the driver,” said Kevin Demoff, the Rams’ chief operating officer. “If you’re looking at a stadium project, everybody now is trying to figure out how you make it the epicenter of day-to-day life. Hopefully, this project will serve as a great model for that.”
At a cost estimated at more than $5 billion, the development — its formal name is the LA Stadium & Entertainment District at Hollywood Park — includes a 70,240-seat stadium and 6,000-seat performance center under one roof that will anchor a 298-acre complex of office buildings, shops, restaurants, residential units, hotels and parks. It’s 3 1/2 times the size of Disneyland and twice as big as Vatican City. It is the vision of Rams owner E. Stanley Kroenke, a Missouri-born billionaire developer and sports mogul, who took to heart NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s insistence that any new stadium built for pro football’s return to Los Angeles must be iconic and serve as home to two teams. In addition to the Rams, who moved back from St. Louis in 2016, the city is also the new home of the Chargers, who used to play in San Diego.
But even in a copycat league such as the NFL, it’s far from clear that Kroenke’s new-era model can be replicated. Its staggering expense is the primary barrier.
Though the Kroenke organization won’t confirm the cost or provide details of its privately funded financing plan, NFL owners in March agreed to raise their debt waiver to accommodate the Los Angeles project. That will help cover the cost of the stadium and essential infrastructure such as utilities, parking lots and roads, according to a person familiar with the multiyear plan.
The new stadium will open in 2020. For 2019, the Rams and Chargers will spend one final season at their respective temporary homes in the market–the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (soon to be renamed United Airlines Memorial Coliseum), and Carson’s Dignity Health Sports Park (formerly StubHub Center).