We May Not Have An NFL Team Yet, But Inglewood Site Already Building
Even though it's still up in the air whether we'll have an NFL team calling Los Angeles home any time soon, the massive Inglewood site where the St. Louis Rams owner wants a football stadium has already started construction.
Developers have plans to turn the nearly 300-acre construction site, which is three times the size of Vatican City and once housed the Hollywood Park racetrack, in Inglewood into a mixed-use development. In that mix is Stan Kroenke, billionaire and St. Louis Rams owner, who bought 60 acres of land near the Forum, which is close to the Park, and has joined Stockbridge Capital Group in plans to add an 80,000-seat NFL stadium in the space.
The developers for the Hollywood Park Land Co. took the L.A. Times on a tour of their construction site, showing that they've already made some progress, with rubble and heavy machinery at the location where the NFL stadium is planned.
"We said we wanted to be in position to start building in a year," Chris Meany, development manager for the Hollywood Park Land Co., told the Times. "And as you can see, we've done it. We are ahead of where we said we'd be."
It's been 20 years since we've had an NFL team rep L.A., and right now the St. Louis Rams, along with the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, are in the running. The Chargers and Raiders have joined forces and even hired Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, to lead the project, upping the ante a bit. They're proposing a new, $1.7 billion joint-use stadium in Carson.
It's important to note that despite all this rumbling behind building stadiums and getting NFL teams, there have been many, many proposed stadium plans in L.A. have been announced with much fanfare and never come to fruition.
However, NFL owners will be trying to deal with that with a special meeting in Houston on Jan. 12 and 13 about the the fate of the proposed teams for L.A.
For Kroenke, he's still going ahead with building his mixed-use development even if the Rams haven't been chosen as the L.A. NFL team. According to the Times, his development "includes a hotel, housing, hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail and office space and even a lake with waterfalls." Meany tells the Times that we should expect stores that you're likely to see at The Grove.
The site of Hollywood Park has all been demolished except for the casino. There are new sidewalks and curbs built on Century Boulevard and Prairie Avenue, and 110 full-grown trees have been planted around the perimeter.
As for the proposed stadium itself, there are a lot of details that still need to get approved and permitted. They may have to get over some hurdles, too. The Federal Aviation Administration released a preliminary report last month that the stadium could interfere with radar tracking flights coming into LAX, and is "presumed to be a hazard to air navigation." According to the Times, "The report offered various possible solutions that included relocating the stadium, reducing the height by more than 100 feet, reshaping the exterior or covering some surfaces with material that absorbs radar or isn't reflective."
We'll see how this all goes, but for now, maybe Kroenke is under the impression that if you build it, they (the Rams) will come.