NFL team owners and officials, and developers of the NFL stadium in Inglewood are looking up, despite an announcement last week that the planned $2.6 billion stadium would be delayed by one year.
In a statement, the Rams said, “This new target gives us flexibility to accommodate any additional delays that may arise while still delivering an unparalleled experience upon opening.”
According to the developer, LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park, “Southern California experienced record-setting rain this winter. Despite bringing drought relief to the region, the rain fell during the mass excavation period of construction when no other work could proceed in wet conditions. As a result, we experienced significant delays and lost the better part of two months from early January into the beginning of March.”
Workers described the site as looking like a lake, with water standing 12 to 15 feet deep. After the downpours, the excavated area had to be drained before work could resume. To date, the stadium bowl is 90-feet deep and fully excavated, with six million cubic yards of dirt removed across the site.
The stadium needed to be built deep into the earth to avoid radar issues with airplanes flying into nearby Los Angeles International Airport. Developers originally planned for 30 days of rain delays. But weather had already delayed the project by 60 days within the first few months of construction.
NFL owners unanimously voted last week to push back the opening of the stadium until 2020 and the Los Angeles Super Bowl until February 2022. The stadium will house both the Rams and the Chargers. Owners also ratified the Raiders’ lease with Las Vegas, allowing that franchise to move ahead with its stadium financing plan.
The Las Vegas stadium is projected to cost $1.9 billion, and will consist of a 65,000-seat domed stadium with a natural grass field. The stadium in Las Vegas, like the one in Inglewood, is scheduled to open in 2020.
“We wanted to make sure we do everything right, 100%,” Rams owner Stan Kroenke said. “It’s a big deal for L.A. We have a Super Bowl, and that’s the important part.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell praised Kroenke’s leadership. “Bottom line is, Stan was incredibly cooperative on this. He wants to do what’s right for the NFL. His No. 1 objective is creating a quality stadium for the long term for the fans in Los Angeles. His commitment has not wavered on that.”
“Our focus is always on the fan experience," said Chargers president of business operations A.G. Spanos. "Our future home will be the best stadium in the NFL and deliver a transformational experience for Chargers fans. If getting it right means pushing back the completion date, then I think the extra year is well worth it."
In a statement on the 2022 Super Bowl, Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff said:
“In the past week, we have worked with the NFL on the resolution that was presented today and are supportive of the NFL Owners’ decision to play Super Bowl LV in Tampa and to have Los Angeles host Super Bowl LVI in 2022. Over the next 90 days, we will continue to work with our partners across the Los Angeles region, including the Chargers, to deliver the elements promised in the bid that was approved last year.”