St. Louis Rams Owner Planning to Build L.A. Stadium
Rumors and hopes of an NFL team returning to Los Angeles have been swirling ever since the Rams and Raiders left two decades ago. With more than a dozen previous proposals, it’s a wonder hopefuls haven’t given up. The latest is a plan for a new St. Louis Rams stadium. But, this time it’s different – Ram’s owner Stan Kroenke owns a suitable plot of land for a new stadium.
Last year, Kroenke purchased a 60-acre tract of land in Inglewood, an L.A. suburb. Although not large enough on its own, the land is adjacent to a 238-acre site owned by Stockbridge Capital Group. Stockbridge already has approved plans to build a mixed used community called Hollywood Park. According January 5 reports, those plans may be amended to include a sports and entertainment complex.
If approved by voters and the NFL, the St. Louis Rams could return to L.A. with a new home. The proposed design is a state of the art modern facility including an 80,000 seat NFL stadium, making it one of the larger stadiums in the league. Such a large facility makes sense given L.A. is the second largest TV market for the NFL.
Of the many proposals to build an L.A. stadium, this one has the most hope. This is the first time a current owner had the land necessary to build the stadium. On top of that, unlike past attempts and most NFL stadiums, this one will be privately funded.
Moreover, this month, the Rams can choose to convert their lease to a year-to-year term. This is because the team has been unable to reach a deal with the city for renovations on their current stadium. To date, the team and city are $575 million apart on any renovation deal, but the city is expected to submit a new proposal by the end of the month.
Although the NFL has announced that no teams will be moving in 2015, no such announcement has been made for future years. In fact, the NFL plans to have an L.A. team in the coming years. If a move is approved for the 2016 season, the Rams will need a temporary home. According to the L.A. Times, until the new stadium is complete, that home will likely be in the L.A. Coliseum or the Rose Bowl. Developers suggest the new stadium can be completed by 2018.
The potential deal is still slightly under wraps as the Rams declined to comment and the NFL only stated “no team has applied for relocation and there will be no team relocation for the 2015 season.” However, Inglewood’s mayor said he is “extremely supportive” and Stockbridge’s founder stated,
“We are excited to unveil an expanded plan that will bring a world-class sports and entertainment district to Hollywood Park. We are committed to working with [the Kroenke Group] to build a project that will put Inglewood back on the map as home of the truly great sports and entertainment venues.”